Artist picture of Passenger

Passenger

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Artist's Top Tracks

Let Her Go Passenger 04:12
Bird in Flight Passenger 02:55
Rolling Stone Passenger 03:22
Let Her Go Passenger 04:26
Dancing in the Dark (Recorded at Deezer, Sao Paulo) Passenger 03:11
Anywhere Passenger 03:36
Let Her Go (Recorded at Deezer, Sao Paulo) Passenger 03:35
Simple Song Passenger 03:48
Suzanne Passenger 04:15
Someone You Loved (Cover) Passenger 03:03

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Biography

Birds that Flew and Ships that Sailed is the fourteenth album from Mike Rosenberg, better known as Passenger. The self-funded record is being released out of the blue on Rosenberg’s own label, Black Crow - a sign of his ongoing determination to do things on his own terms.   The record's dominant theme, human impermanence and the passing of time, will be familiar to fans of previous Passenger releases such as Young as the Morning, Old as the Sea, a UK number one album in 2016, or ‘Let Her Go’, an international number one single released in 2012. It has, in fact, been his primary preoccupation ever since 2007’s debut, Wicked Man’s Rest.  ‘I’ve always found the idea of time passing a bit tragic,’ says Rosenberg. “I’m very nostalgic and I think that often comes across in my writing. It’s sad to think that everything is fleeting, that you can never return to a moment once it has passed. Now more than ever, with climate change and the pandemic and everything going on politically, it’s easy to long for a time when we were excited instead of dreading what’s around the corner.’ The title track is a case in point. ’It’s about when you really want something,’ he explains, ‘and how, when you eventually get that thing, it doesn’t feel like you thought it would. You’ve moved on and almost forgotten that you wanted it in the first place.’ Passenger, he says, is a good example. ‘‘Let Her Go’ was like a lottery win. It was unbelievable. When it first happened, I was in a perpetual state of disbelief. I’m still eternally grateful to have been so lucky but eventually even something like that becomes your everyday reality. We get used to things. So the song is basically saying, don’t obsess about being something or getting somewhere. Enjoy the simple stuff because that’s always what’s important.’   ‘Let Her Go’, which has now had over three billion streams on YouTube, is referenced obliquely in the album’s lead single. ‘Blink in the Eye’ outlines Rosenberg’s life story: school, leaving home at 17, a prolonged period of busking. And then comes the life-changing impact of that lottery win: ‘It all changed at 29, my boat came in and the stars aligned, I watched a simple song of mine travel the world…’ ’It’s the life story no one asked for,’ laughs Rosenberg. ‘With a saxophone solo! It’s self-indulgent, but I don’t care. I share it as a story of hope. I was basically a stoner who dropped out of school and started working in kitchens, playing gigs on the side. So it’s hopefully a really positive message.’  The saxophone on ‘Blink in the Eye’, says Rosenberg, is a nod to Bruce Springsteen. Elsewhere, there are shades of James Taylor, Gram Parsons, and Neil Young - some of Passenger’s strongest influences.  ‘This is an album I’d actually really like to listen to,’ Rosenberg explains. ‘It’s easy to assume that people make the music they like, but it’s not true: we’re all striving to make classic records like After the Gold Rush but doesn’t mean we can or do. But I really feel proud of this one.’