Passenger makes a powerful statement in his new clip, and all without raising his voice.
The video for Passenger’s “Whispers” begins, appropriately, with Michael Rosenberg all alone. He’s in the studio with only his guitar, framed by the darkness and bathed in the glow of a computer screen. The song, from his just announced, fifth studio album, Whispers (out Jun. 10), is about that sense of isolation.
“Well I’ve a big old heart/ This I know for sure/ But I don’t know what my love is for,” he sings over a gently plucked acoustic. Before long, the frames multiply, and we’re introduced to the backing band. A horn section, strings players, a drummer, and backup singers all materialize and dissolve in ever changing arrangements.
It’s largely a showcase for Rosenberg, particularly his fragile voice and melancholy outlook. The bracketing of the separate players just reinforces the sense of working toward something together but feeling like you’re lost.
“This is easily the most ’up’ album I’ve ever made,” he explains in a press release for Whispers. “It’s quite cinematic. There are lots of big stories and big ideas. There are also some somber moments about loneliness and death, but, hey, it wouldn’t be a Passenger album without those.” That’s an understatement. See his international hit single “Let Her Go” from 2012’s All The Little Lights for further evidence.
“Mostly though,” he said, “it’s a really positive album.” The title track alludes to that, despite its seeming sadness. “Everyone’s filling me up with noise/ I don’t know what they’re talking about,” he sings. “You see all I need’s a whisper/ In a world that only shouts.” Sometimes being on your own isn’t so bad, if it means stepping away from the fray.
Look for Passenger on “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” this Friday, where he’ll perform “Scare Away The Dark.” Better keep the Kleenex handy.
+ Watch Passenger’s “Whispers” video.
Photo credit: Black Crow Records/Nettwerk Productions