Music

Passenger’s Ultimate Playlist

Success did not come instantly for Mike Rosenberg, aka Passenger.

Having released an album with a band in 2007, it wasn't until four records later with the 2012 album All The Little Lights that he found fame - kicked off, of course, by the enormous runaway success of Let Her Go, which hit number one in 19 different countries, as well as reaching number two in the UK and number five in the US.

Since then, he's released two albums - Whispers in 2014 and Whispers II a year later and - clearly not one for sitting around - is readying his latest record, Young as the Morning, Old as the Sea, set for release on 23 September.

We spoke to him to discover his Ultimate Playlist and the stories behind the selections. You can listen to a Spotify playlist of all of the tracks here.

Favourite sad song

"I've gone for The River by Bruce Springsteen. It's such a beautiful song and it's so tragic and I think it's kind of him at his best tragic storytelling. Some of the lines are just amazing - and it really puts you in those shoes. I think it's an amazing song."

Favourite movie soundtrack song

"Well I've gone for two here, because I love the Into The Wilds soundtrack by Eddie Vedder. It works so beautifully well - a bunch of really stripped back acoustic songs with Eddie's amazing vocals over the top - it just really sets the scene for the movie. I've also gone for Ed Sheeran's I See Fire because I'm really good mates with Ed and it's just completely surreal - even though he's so massive now I think to get on a Hobbit soundtrack is one of those moments when you really realise how big your mate has actually become - it was a really cool moment."

Favourite song from your childhood

"We used to listen to Simon and Garfunkel Live in Central Park - a gig from the Eighties - any car journey we went on, we used to listen to the tapes and wore them to within an inch of their lives. The Sound of Silence was always my favourite one, so I think I'm gonna go with that."

Favourite song no one else knows

"My good mate Stu Larsen, who's an Australian singer-songwriter - and we've done a lot of touring together - he's writing a new album at the moment and he sat down and played me a few songs the other day and I loved them. There's a song called By The River which is perhaps the pick of the bunch. Yeah that album will coming out at some point in the future and I recommend it to everyone."

Favourite club anthem

"It may surprise you to hear that I'm not really much of a club anthem kinda guy, but we played a festival in the Czech Republic the other day and Underworld were headlining and Born Slippy was such an amazing moment. I obviously remember it from back in the day - the place just erupted and it was a really special moment so I'm gonna go with that."

Favourite wedding song

"My friends got married recently and for their first dance they had Chris Isaak's Wicked Game so, even though the song's fairly sad and probably the opposite of a wedding song, it really worked - it was a really touching moment."

Favourite one-hit wonder

"I'm gonna go with Let Her Go for one-hit wonder! Which is my own one-hit wonder and it's hilarious - I'm sure it'll be forever the elephant in the room so I thought I'd put a little tongue-in-cheek selection in there. We always make jokes about it - I always joke about it being my only famous song so I figured it be a funny one to put in there."

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Favourite lyric from a song

"I'm a real lyrics kind of guy and they're very important to me. I think Joni Mitchell wrote some beautiful lyrics and one of my favourite songs of hers is called A Case Of You and I think the line, "I could drink a case of you and I'd still be on my feet" is just a very, very clever line. That song is just mind-blowingly good lyrically."

Favourite current song

"There's an Australian band called The Paper Kites and they're brilliant - they're not as well-known as they should be. They released an album late last year called Twelvefour and I'm gonna go with this song called Revelator Eyes - I think it's a really stunning track."

Favourite song from your own music

"Always a difficult question and I think it's always changing - it's very tempting to really like the newer ones because they're that much more relevant to you at the time. I'm gonna go with a song off the new album, which incidentally is coming out in September, it's called Young as the Morning, Old as the Sea and the song I'm gonna go for is called The Long Road. It's not gonna be a single - it's not sort of catchy or poppy enough for that but I think lyrically and as far as the song itself goes, it's probably my favourite on the record."

(Image: Rex)