Released Friday June 6th, 2014 - Black Crow Records
Since the release of the lead single track 'Hearts On Fire' in April, a quiet anticipation for Passenger's fifth studio album had followed. The album was released through Black Crow Records and Nettwerk. The folk-rock artist who goes by Michael Rosenberg offstage, indulges his talents of storytelling in the form of this laconic record 'Whispers'.
The whole album is a journey of large and telling cinematic stories of love, heartbreak, '27 years' of his life, loneliness and death. These profound encounters with the theatricals of human existence, are delivered in such a laconic and low-key way, in the form of the gentle rasp in his voice and the melodic classical guitar. It is reminiscent of residual whispers of a sentient lifetime. It is one big story, even illustrated through the album artwork that conjures a children's storybook to mind. The album fluctuates in mood, travelling from the adventurous 'Bullets' to the sombre 'Golden Leaves' and then 'Thunder'that picks you up and off your feet from the previous track. We don't linger in the sombre for too long, nor is our time flying high in uppity cheer prolonged.
The lead single 'Hearts On Fire' is delivered in a voice that resembles the slightest sense of gentle resignation, as Rosenberg juxtaposes dramatic language "..my heart's on fire" with his contrastingly soft yet raspy voice, complemented by the instrumental counterparts of equal tenderness. It almost serves as a microcosm for the entire record, in that the record is a soft delivery of the theatrical spectacle that is life's tale. It tugs at nostalgia which most of us are familiar with; a kind of aching longing to go back to a moment in time. However, along with the subsequent tracks, this album paints strokes of nostalgia in a way that is celebratory and embracing.
After taking us on his journey through profound moments of love, tragedy and meeting a fellow human on the verge of death in 'Riding To New York', Rosenberg ends the album with the telling 'Scare Away The Dark'. Comprised of relatively micro-level encounters, the words are day-to-day and widely understood as he bemoans our fixation with Facebook & Twitter and wishing to be "happier, thinner and fitter." He celebrates the ultimate nostalgia; that of living fearlessly and relentlessly, as he tells us to "sing at the top of your voice/ Love without fear in your heart." The album showcases his storytelling talents, his theatrical tale. The lyrics conjure the words of Charles Bukowski to "live our lives so well that Death will tremble to take us" as the record indeed whispers an echo of this very sentiment.
Overall, the album resembles a canvas carrying a grand story, painted in tender strokes of subtlety and geniality. It further extends the already substantial success of Passenger, and we know that his prevalence in music is of no mere whim, but a concrete presence that puts us in quiet anticipation for his next project.
The Soundsplash Festival is returning to Raglan in January 2018. Local reggae favourites Katchafire are returning to feature on the bill. We sent a few questions over to lead vocalist Logan Bell ahead of the festival.
Following 2015’s Kitty, Daisy & Lewis'The Third', the sibling trio are back stronger than ever, harnessing their ability to create pop-infused soul, blues, rock n roll and a large mix of genres to perfection, in the shape of their fourth studio album, Superscope.
Kylie Price has just released her new album Bones. Last week she appeared on theNZ Entertainment Podcast, where she sang a new song I Dont Want To Go off the album while talking shop about her dream gig to play with Ed Sheeran and her Philipino roots.
Last week I caught up withPeter Hook ahead of returning down under for Australasian leg of the Joy Division and New Order Substance tour. We had a great chat about the spirit of punk, what it takes to write a book and why shows like the X-factor are so unhealthy…
Long established as one of New Zealand’s finest acts, South Pacific reggae-soul legends, The Black Seeds are set to tour the country in September, following the release of their long awaited 6th studio album Fabric, (out today - Friday September 8th).
Jacqueline Nalpant is a Booking Agent for the Paradigm Talent Agency, and is heading to New Zealand early next month where she'll be one of the speakers for the Going Global Music Summit (Friday 1st & Saturday 2nd September at Roundhead Studios, Auckland).
Since making her musical debut with her song Drift early last year, fast attracting a solid fan base and over 1 million plays across Spotify and Soundcloud in just a few months, Madeline North, better known by her musical moniker So Below, has once again blessed us with a moodier, masterful electro-pop banger, titled Ruin.
Since forming in 1998, the Antwerp, Belgium based trio Triggerfinger have long become a mainstay on the rock scene, building a solid reputation across Europe, the US, Canada and beyond, as one of the hardest-driving and sharpest dressing bands around.
Popular metalcore group Northlane are on their way to New Zealand. The Sydney band are touring North America taking in countries like Chile and Mexico as they head our way down-under next month to play Wellington’s San Fran then Auckland at the iconic Kings Arms.
Returning to New Zealand for the first time in three years, Australian metalcore band In Hearts Wake are on their way to our shores next month for a quick run of shows supporting their label cohorts Northlane.
Courtney Marie Andrews has landed in New Zealand, and set to play two concerts this week with Joe Pug - tonight at San Fran in Wellington (Wed July 19) and tomorrow night at The Tuning Fork in Auckland (Thu July 20).
Auckland two-piece Skinny Hobos, Alex Elvis and Texas Holdom, are heading on a 5 date New Zealand tour with headliners Decades, Bakers Eddy and Dead Favours. Kicking off tonight in Hamilton (July 14), the tour will also take them to Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and finishes up in Dunedin.
Have you ever considered sharing your most personal experiences with the entire world? Well come this Friday 14th July, that’s what Emma Cameron, the rocking front-woman of kiwi band Decades is about to do, when they release their long-awaited full length debut album, The Truth And Other People, so we sat down with the cheerful front woman to discover just what truth this album reveals..
Whilst Sonny Landreth is a well known slide-guitar master, zydeco enthusiast and phenomenal blues legend, what you may not know about him, is that he is one of the nicest gentlemen in the entire universe.
He was always the boy next door type energy, that type of person you just always wanted to be around. From day one, Shay Taylor has always been one to break the mold and live life in such a vibrant and contagious manner, that no matter who he spoke to, they walked away feeling great!
One month on from the release of their third album [Wade Waist Deep], American rock band Thomas Wynn & The Believers are back on the road, breaking beyond the southern rock scene with complex, pulsing rhythms and breathtaking harmonies.
After their 2012 Mercury Prize-nominated debut and 2015’s Top 20 follow-up Born Under Saturn, musical adventurers Django Django are back for 2017, exploring new sounds with their brand new album Marble Skies
After stunning, sold-out concerts across the US, legendary Led Zep drummer Bonzo's greatest legacy - his son Jason - brings his critically acclaimed concert, Jason Bonham's Led Zeppelin Experience, to New Zealand for just two performances.
Playing their breakthrough debut self-titled album in its entirety, pop rock sensations We The Kings will return to New Zealand and Australia to celebrate the 10 year anniversary of their breakthrough self-titled debut album.
Instrumentals, imagined soundtracks and cut and paste experimentation sets a bracing, perception-shattering course for Who Built The Moon? - the keenly anticipated, WORLD TOUR-triggering third album from Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds.