A few weeks ago, I featured "Let Her Go" as a song of the day, but never got around to finishing this post. Mike Rosenberg (stage name Passenger) is one of the best kept (though quickly climbing into popularity) secrets. Though this UK singer/songwriter released his first album in 2007 (Wicked Man's Rest), he is just now beginning to gain momentum as a popular indie artist in the US. This may be due, largely, to his touring with Ed Sheeran because, who could tour with Ed Sheeran and not garner a few fans? His voice is slightly reminiscent of Sheeran's, in that it is soft and, just, really pretty (is there a better way to describe Sheeran's voice?) while still sounding solid.
He has released five albums during his musical career, including Wicked Man's Rest, Wide Eyes Blind Love (2009), Flight of the Crow (2010), Divers and Submarines (2010), and All the Little Lights (2012), as well as an EP, The Wrong Direction (2012). After releasing his first album, Rosenberg gained popularity for his second album by performing on street corners in the UK and Australia, before putting together his third album (basically, a collaboration album) with various, and great, Australian artists. His fourth album was a "fan album," while the EP he released this past summer was only a preview of all of the great songs which would be on All the Little Lights.
The first song I heard from Rosenberg was "Let Her Go," and he ruined me for all other English alternative artists. "Keep On Walking" and "I Hate" are wonderful with how awfully true his lyrics are; with all of Rosenberg's lyrics ringing so true, I can't help but play his albums on repeat. "All the Little Lights" and "Patient Love" make my heart ache for him, a bit, and kind of makes me upset that I only found out about Passenger this year. Even though "What Will Become of Us" and "My Heart's On Fire" are melancholy, I cannot help but love them because of how beautifully they are put together (the simple composition juxtaposed with the thoughtful lyrics). If you don't smile when his voice breaks off and he begins the first verse of "Let Her Go," or when you hear the way Rosenberg sings the chorus of "Holes," then listen to this instead, because you probably just don't like alternative/indie music.
No matter how creepy the song may be at times, I really love "Walk You Home"; I mean, if a guy did this to me, I might buy some pepper spray or some other only slightly effective stalker repellent, but the song is catchy and it only gets better when you see Rosenberg's dancing. After all, "Hey there Delilah" had stalker-esque qualities and look at how well that did on the charts. (eMusic and I had a slight falling out, so this is how I listen to this song, http://www.listenonrepeat.com/watch/?v=MZKaw-5IDT8. If you ever need to listen to a song or watch a video on repeat, just type "repeat" between "youtube" and ".com" as in, www.youtuberepeat.com.)
Regardless of the type of music you normally listen to, any artist who sounds just as amazing live as they do recorded deserves recognition. If an artist is comfortable performing acoustically, it is only because their voice is amazing. You can buy, should buy, all of Passenger's albums on iTunes or Amazon, but Wicked Man's Rest, is currently available only on eMusic or Passenger's band website.