April 27, 2015 by Skyler Stanford
For those of you who don’t know who Passenger is, by definition he’s the guy who wrote “Let Her Go” but he is far from a one-hit-wonder. Passenger (Michael Rosenberg) is an artist from Brighton, a sea-side town in the UK. His genre is folk, or music that tells a story. He started in an alternative band by the same name in 2007. Although they made some great music together, they broke up after the release of their one and only album, Wicked Man’s Rest. Rosenberg quit his job and became a full time singer/songwriter, choosing to remain 100% independent (not signed to any record label) and instead started his own record label, Black Crow Records. At this record label he has produced five albums not including the one made with the band.
Rosenberg decided that his music shouldn’t to be confined to the walls of a studio. He began busking (performing his songs on the streets) and working small coffee house gigs more than ever. Passenger would write songs (in some cases unfinished and untitled) and perform them on the streets of the towns that he traveled to, to gauge the reaction the people. People could leave tips and buy CD’s from him and this is how he funded the production and recording of more albums. Occasionally when people stopped to listen to his music they would share with him their stories and, as any folk artist does, he wrote songs about them. His passion for busking and free gigs/concerts shows and continues to show that he is not in music for the money but, instead, to share his music, his stories, and the stories of the people he has crossed roads with through his travels. Even now, as his fan base is exploding, he says he will continue to busk and do free shows for those who cannot afford to come to the paid gigs and also for those who are unable to travel to the venues.
Most recently Passenger has released a brand new album made of old songs that many of his fans have already heard from watching his performances. This album is very special because, instead of using the proceeds to fund his musical endeavors, he is donating 100% of the proceeds to UNICEF to feed malnourished kids in Liberia. Amazing, right? This album, Whispers II, has some of Passenger’s best and saddest songs about love, heartbreak, and growing old. Whispers II is a companion to Whispers I, released last summer. They go together perfectly as if a continuation to a story, a second chapter if you will. Similar to any Passenger album, Whispers II is beautifully composed and organized. Rosenberg designed the album to have an easy and natural flow from song to song.
Not only is Whispers II for a great cause but it is just a wonderful album for the old and new Passenger fan. It is available now on iTunes and soon on vinyl (CD) which comes with artwork relating to some of the songs from the album. Buy it now and become a Passenger!
Skyler’s picks for the new Passenger:
1) “Divers and Submarines”- Divers and Submarines (A must have album with a tranquil water sound in every song)
2) “Coins in a Fountain”- Whispers I (Album includes many stories of people he’s met that have suffered loss)
3) “The Wrong Direction”-All of the Little Lights (Upbeat and easygoing album about life)
4) “Bloodstains”-Flight of the Crow (A complete folk album that was a collaborative with many different artist)
5) “What’s to become of us”- Wide Eyes Blind Love (An album made entirely of slow love songs with just Passenger and his guitar)
6) “Fear of Fear”- Whispers II(a beautifully composed album containing of some of Passengers best work)
Reporter Skyler Stanford is a fan and follower of Passenger. Her reporting is based on prior knowledge and daily checks of Rosenberg’s social media sites.