Free Download: Passenger "Umbrella" (Rihanna Cover"

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Rihanna's "Umbrella" has been covered dozens and dozens of times, and now U.K. outfit Passenger is throwing their own acoustic version in the mix. Download a guilt-free MP3 of their heartfelt interpretation of the smash hit that they recently recorded at the Mercury Lounge in New York.

Download Passenger "Umbrella" (Rihanna Cover)

August 7, 2008 in MP3, Passenger | Permalink | Comments (0)

Free Download: Passenger "Walk You Home"

Passenger is slowly but surely catching on in North America. The British band is traveling stateside for two big showcase performances in New York and Los Angeles early June. When one of you tipped me about the group a good while ago, I was immediately captured by Mike Rosenberg's idiosyncratic crooning. It sounds like his vocal track has been sped up, but no, that's really how he sounds.

Don't be fooled be the upbeat tone of the song. "Walk You Home" is a song about a creep stalking his female obsession. "I see you nearly every night. I see you when you’re down in your house, With my night vision binoculars," Rosenberg sings. "I creep as quiet as a mouse. Well I get jealous when I see you stroking his hair. But it's ok I tell myself cause I know it's only I’m not there."

"Walk You Home" is taken from the group upcoming U.S. EP "Night Vision Binoculars" that will be released digitally on June 24. Not sure why Passenger's label opted to release an EP with a selection of songs digitally first while the entire album is already available across the pond. Why not release the whole thing digitally now? But, alas, that's a whole different discussion. Enjoy this guilt-free MP3 download courtesy of Passenger.

Download Passenger "Walk You Home"

May 27, 2008 in MP3, Passenger | Permalink | Comments (1)

Free Download: Passenger "Do What You Like"

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They're coming to America!

Passenger will be making their U.S. debut next month at the SXSW in Austin, TX. The Brighton-based band will be showcasing songs from their debut album "Wicked Man's Rest," which the group will release in the U.S. later this year.

The group got its starts when singer Mike Rosenberg met Bafta award-winning film and TV soundtrack composer Andrew Phillips at a Free Burma benefit in 2002. They bonded over their extensive musical taste and decided to lay down some songs in the studio together. A singer/songwriter reared on Bob Dylan, Neil Young and Van Morrison, Rosenberg had intended to make a traditional, stripped-down album based on strong melodies and his modern-day fables. Inspired by the unusual cast of characters he had come up with, Phillips gave the songs a cinematic setting, A year later they were joined by bassist Marcus O’Dair, drummer Alon Cohen and keyboardist Richard Brincklow, which completed the Passenger's line up.

Passenger's music is marked by its quirky storytelling, strong melodies, atmospheric arrangements and particularly Mike Rosenberg's idiosyncratic vocals. His voice is what struck me immediately when I first heard Passenger this summer.

Download a guilt-free MP3 of Passenger's "Do What You Like" that is a "tale of unrequited love and regaining control and self respect." Whatt stands out to me is the song's unusual mix of twitching guitars, electronica-influenced stylings and Mike Rosenberg's crooning.

Download Passenger "Do What You Like" [MP3]

February 29, 2008 in MP3, Passenger | Permalink | Comments (2)

The 2007 Punch: My Favorite Albums of The Year

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Arjanwrites_bullet_small_2 Róisín Murphy "Overpowered"
Timeless and intelligent dance pop by a top-notch performer. Bring on more Róisín in 2008 please!

Arjanwrites_bullet_small_2 Siobhan Donaghy "Ghosts"
Donaghy broke out of her girl group mold and pushed her artistic boundaries in exciting new directions. "Ghosts" is one of the most overlooked, yet sublime pop records of the year.

Arjanwrites_bullet_small_2 Charlotte Gainsbourg "5.55"
Subtle, soft and chic. It is like Chanel No. 5 for your ears.

Arjanwrites_bullet_small_2 Darren Hayes "This Delicate Thing We've Made"
"This Delicate Thing We've Made" is just that. A delicate piece of work that takes you on a journey through time with Hayes' distinct vocals and Justin Shave's accomplished production stylings.

Arjanwrites_bullet_small_2  Kenna "Make Sure They See My Face"
Genre-buster Kenna combines electronica, funk, pop and hip hop so elegantly that it rocks.

Arjanwrites_bullet_small_2  Will.I.Am "Songs About Girls"
A bold solo record by one of the most genius producers of the moment.

Arjanwrites_bullet_small_2 Anouk "Who's Your Momma"
Confident and honest, this rock chick tells it like it is. Expect "Good God" to climb the global charts in 2008.

Arjanwrites_bullet_small_2 Passenger "Wicked Man's Rest"
Touching balladry sang by one of the year's most striking new voices.

Arjanwrites_bullet_small_2 Tracey Thorn "Out Of The Wood"
A perfect marriage of style and substance. And her voice is priceless.

Arjanwrites_bullet_small_2 Roz Bell "The First Sunbeams"
Bell combines songwriting talent with a laid-back attitude that is simply irresistible.

Arjanwrites_bullet_small_2 Klaxons "Myths Of The Near Future"
These three lads got me dizzy on my feet when I saw them perform at Coachella back in April. This is rock and roll for the here and now.

Arjanwrites_bullet_small_2 I also enjoyed listening to albums by these great artists in 2007:

Kate Havnevik "Melankton"
Kanye West "Graduation"
Dragonette "Galore"
Alison Moyet "The Turn"
Young Love "Too Young To Fight It"
Just Jack "Overtones"
Annie Lennox "Songs Of Mass Destruction"
Kocky "Kingdome Come"
M.I.A. "Kala"

December 28, 2007 in Annie Lennox, Anouk, Darren Hayes, Just Jack, Kanye West, Kate Havnevik, Kenna, Mika, Passenger, Roz Bell, Róisín Murphy, Siobhan Donaghy, Tracey Thorn | Permalink | Comments (5)

Free Download: Passenger "Needle In The Dark" (Live Version)

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I've said it before, but I will say it again.

Passenger is one of the best new British bands I've heard in a long while. Hands-down.

After I posted the video for the group's new single "Walk You Home" last week, many of you emailed me to praise this new talent. It looks like this Passenger is going somewhere and it might well be straight to the top of the charts.

Check out a very exclusive live performance of "Needle In The Dark" that the group emailed me. It is genuinely beautiful and packs a whole lotta truth. "My hands they are empty but they are clean. I'm poor but I'm healthy. I'm halfway between the gutter and the skyline," sings crooner Mike Rosenberg in a song about that one thing many of us need and want, but never really can get our hands around. I posted the lyrics of the song after the jump so you can karaoke along to it.

Make sure to pick up their next single "Walk You Home" that is out on September 3 (followed by their album release on September 10). The single will be available from retailers but there is currently a pre-order at Townsend Records, including a multi-buy deal for a signed 7" vinyl and CD. Hot stuff. (Thanks to Jim in London for keeping me posted and allowing me to share this track with full permission.)

Download Passenger "Needle In The Dark" (Live at Komedia) [MP3]

Need In The Dark
By Passenger

With progress comes problems
With wisdom comes age
With lessons come learning
With pleasure comes pain

You can only have the sunshine after the rain

I took a walk
It got me thinking
Left foot right foot
Smiling blinking
Breathe out breathe in
Somehow linking
My soul to my mind and my heart to my mouth
Lost and the found and the north to the south
And the corners to the circle in my mind

You may find that the gate has been locked
When we come back down to what we really are
Retrace the footprints off the path that is lost
It's like trying to find a needle in the dark

My hands they are empty
but they are clean
I'm poor but I'm healthy
I'm halfway between
The gutter and the skyline

I took a walk to the land's end
Thinking ‘bout an ex-girlfriend that I had
And the pages that I've turned
And it seems to me
That we all love the chase
But once we're caught we feel encased
Behind bars of love and trust
Uprooted by drunken lust
By people people just like us
people people just like us

You may find that the gate has been locked
When we come back down to what we really are
Retrace the footprints off the path that is lost
It's like trying to find a needle in the dark

I took a walk to the station
Lost in my imagination
Having private conversations with myself
And I'm stumbling ‘round
And I wait for the sound
Of this crumbling town to come tumbling down
People say I'm just bummin' around
But I've had both my ears to the ground

August 17, 2007 in MP3, Passenger | Permalink | Comments (0)