Sunday, April 29, 2018

Weekend Diversion: Passenger

I hardly ever listen to the radio anymore, so I don’t generally run across new music as often as I used to. Still, it happens sometimes, either when I hear it in a store or when I catch a music video on TV. I’ve talked about both before, but today’s Weekend Diversion is about an artist I heard in a store.

The first time I remember this happening was about three years ago when Nigel and I were in a computer (and more…) store and “Uma Thurman” by Fall Out Boy came on. I wrote about that a few months later. This past February, some three years after the first time, it’s happened again when Nigel and I were in a home centre and heard a song playing.

The person we heard was English singer-songwriter Michael David Rosenberg, an English singer/songwriter who performs under the name Passenger, which was originally the name of a band he fronted until it broke up.

The video up top is “Let Her Go”, his 2012 song that was also his best-selling single to date, hitting Number One in several countries, including New Zealand and Australia, Number Two in the UK, and Number Five in the USA. The album it’s from, All the Little Lights, hit Number Two in Australia, Number Three in the UK, Number Nine in New Zealand, and Number 20 in the USA. But the truth is, I don’t remember hearing the song on the radio at the time; maybe it was during one of my frequent “not listening to the radio at all” phases. But, what do I know? The video above has had 1.85 BILLION views on YouTube—so far.

The song we heard in the store is called “Fools Gold” (audio-only video is below). What’s remarkable is that we were in a big, cavernous, noisy home centre, and we could hear the song clearly—so clearly, in fact, that Nigel was able to use Shazam to find out what it was. The song was an album track on his 2016 album, Young As The Morning Old As The Sea. That album hit Number One in New Zealand, Australia, and the UK, but only reached 70 in the USA.

Once we were back home, I checked out some more of his songs, including one I truly love: “When We Were Young”, which was also an album track from Young As The Morning Old As The Sea, and not a single. I love the melody and arrangement, and the lyrics are beautiful, but what appeals to me the most is that the lyrics can be taken as wistful and melancholy, or as a warning to not let our lives slip away from us (which is true of many of his songs, actually). Mostly, I just think it’s a beautiful song and video:

Most of the new (to me) music I run across has always been accidental, but in the old days it used to be on the radio. Now, though, it tends to be music used in a TV commercial, or from a music video I happen to see, or even from the background music played in a store. The important thing is that I'm still running across music I've never heard before. I'm glad.

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