Passenger is the stage name of Mike Rosenberg, a rising star on the current UK folk revival circuit. His songs are a sublte blend of traditional English folk, americana and pop. When I was sent Fairytales & Firesides, a beautifully stripped down folk/pop song, I didn’t actually know that this was by the same artist that released the dreary and overproduced effort Wicked Man’s Rest in 2007. That was a record that had potential, by an artist with a clear talent, but was completely butchered by overproduction much in the same way as David Grey’s White Ladder.
Good news then, that Rosenberg seems to have learned from this. Gone are the distractions, artificial strings, samples and horrible effects that ruined his previous songs, to be replaced by a very back-to-basics approach to songwriting. One man, a guitar and some beautiful songs. With a knack of penning a lovely song, why ruin it? While Passenger probably isn’t ever going to push many boundaries or become a musical revolutionary, he doesn’t need to – he can write beautiful songs and sing them, beautifully. Sometimes thats just enough. Okay so this time round he’s playing bars and basement venues rather then opening up for Scouting for Girls but you know what, how can that possibly be a bad thing? I for one am glad he’s jacked in the Radio 1 lighter-waving pish for something of significantly more substance.
Passenger is currently embarking on a UK tour. He plays the Roadhouse in Manchester on 1st August.