Music, Opinions

This Week In New Music: Passenger, Nick Mulvey & Ciaran Lavery

The Boy Who Cried Wolf – Passenger (Album)


The surprise release of a new album from Passenger came after the singer-songwriter published a long post on Facebook on Tuesday evening. In the post, he reveals that his show in Dublin the previous Sunday was his last gig for “a while.” It’s an emotional post in which he reminisces on how far he’s come and thanks his fans for their support, before announcing he has a surprise for them on Friday. This surprise was an album made up of some new tracks as well as some fan favourites from his youtube videos. The opening track is aptly named ‘simple song,’ and it’s a foreshadowing of what’s to come. Yes these songs are simple, some might argue boringly so, but if you’ve a soft spot for Mike Rosenberg’s vocals & his simple but clever lyrics, there’s plenty to love on this album. Plus, not knowing when we’ll get the next installment of music from the Brit makes it all the sweeter.


Mountain To Move – Nick Mulvey (Single)


God, I love Nick Mulvey. His debut album is one of the most beautiful and relaxing albums I own, I never tire of it. My love of “First Mind” means I’ve really high expectations for his forthcoming release in September and if this track is anything to go by it won’t disappoint. It’s classic Mulvey – a gentle acoustic number that builds in to something uplifting that will warm you to your core. If anyone wants to come experience this live I am looking for a gig buddy for the 28th of September xo


Everything Is Made To Last – Ciaran Lavery (Single)


I’ll be honest, this is the first I’ve heard of Ciaran Lavery. My bad. The Northern Irish man has released ‘Everything Is Made To Last’ ahead of his third album and it’s a gorgeous track with a chorus that builds and builds in to something beautiful. It’s full of life and vitality and I can’t wait to see what his next album will bring. #SupportIrish


Album Review: Young As The Morning Old As The Sea by Passenger

Michael Rosenberg’s latest LP, ‘Young As The Morning Old As the Sea’ offers the same kind of experience as his previous works but falls a little short. That is, enjoyable, hummable folk songs that seem to venture into pop territory at times. Unlike on his 7th studio album, Whispers II, Passenger strays from the rawness of his acoustic guitar and voice alone on his newest offering. Here, a band of musicians back the former Brighton busker up and orchestral sounds help to lift up some of the blander songs.

After listening to the full album right through you come to thinking Passenger is going through some kind of mid-life crisis. He sings of longing to travel on the title track but notes that he’s ‘fleeting like fireworks fading too soon,’ mourns his youth on ‘When We Were Young’ and seems to lament lost love on the opening track, ‘cause everything is nothing ’til you’ve got somebody to share it with / somebody to have / somebody to hold.’  

Perhaps Passenger was pining over a lost lover when crafting this record. ‘Beautiful Birds’ (featuring Scottish songstress Birdy ironically) is a melancholy break up tune with touching lyrics while on ‘Somebody’s Love’ Rosenberg seems to warn us to keep those we love close to us, ‘oh when the winds they blow / you’re gonna need somebody to know you / you’re gonna need somebody’s love to fall into.’ The Long Road’ seems to confirm our suspicions as he sings, ‘You found love but you left without it.’

Unfortunately, these melancholy songs seem to drag as Passenger hasn’t managed to notate his introspective thoughts about life and love as astutely and as wittingly as usual. Thankfully, for all the loneliness and sadness that seems to permeate the lyrics of the album, the music isn’t all minor chords and gloom – ‘Anywhere’, for example, is an upbeat and fun track that lifts the mood.

Though it’s an enjoyable and pleasant listen, overall the record is nowhere near as clever and captivating as some of his previous work. However, something tells me Rosenberg won’t be bothered too much by the negative reviews of his latest release. As he sang himself on his album ‘Whispers’ just two years ago, ‘I write songs that come from the heart / I don’t give a f**k if they get into the charts.’

Maybe Young As The Morning Old As The Sea’ isn’t the most affecting of albums, certainly it won’t win any Grammy’s, but perhaps its charm is in its refusal to cater for the critics and just simply be a pleasant listen.

Passenger will return to Vicar Street, Dublin on the 2nd and 3rd of December 2016

Rating: 3.5 / 5

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