Passenger Shares Haunting New Track ‘To Be Free’

Passenger has today shared haunting new track ‘To Be Free’ plus it’s beautiful accompanying video. ‘To Be Free’ is available to stream today and as an instant grat with pre-orders of the Ivor Novello Award-winning singer-songwriter’s new album ‘Runaway’, which is released on August 31st on Black Crow Records via Cooking Vinyl.

“’To Be Free’ is a very important song for the record and also to me personally, as it’s about my grandparents,” says Passenger, aka Brighton’s Mike Rosenberg. “They were Jewish refugees who went to America after the war finished, settling in Vineland, New Jersey. It’s a long and tragic story, and I never thought I’d write a song about it. But it just came out.” 

Shot in one-take in the small coastal town of Avalon, New Jersey, a short distance from Vineland, the video for ‘To Be Free’ was directed by long-time collaborator Jarrad Seng and stars New York City Ballet’s Emily Kikta.

Also available now is new single ‘Heart To Love’, the follow-up to the Radio 2 playlisted lead single ‘Hell Or High Water’, which has received over 15 million streams across Spotify, Apple Music and YouTube.

‘Runaway’ finds Passenger embracing the epic: the melodies are unforgettable, the choruses colossal. The album, Rosenberg’s tenth in 11 years, was recorded between the UK and Australia with his co-producer, Chris Vallejo, but its aesthetic is North American.  “My dad is American,” Rosenberg explains, “and we used to go over every other summer when we were kids. I always loved it. I guess I was seduced by it a little bit. It was such a culture shock coming from England.”

Sonically, too, ‘Runaway’ draws on Americana, for instance the early work of Ryan Adams. Rosenberg imagined these new songs as unfolding against a backdrop of American landscapes. And so, rather than the usual video process, he Seng spent a three weeks on a road trip across the US making videos for every song on the album. Four of these videos are already available to view: ‘Heart To Love’, shot on Las Vegas’ famous Strip; ‘Hell Or High Water’, set in the epic landscapes of a series of National Parks; the sublime ‘Why I Can’t Change’, seeped in influences such as the Traveling Wilburys and early Fleetwood Mac; and album title track ‘Runaway’, which features Rosenberg running through spectacular locations including Death Valley and Monument Valley, Lombard Street in San Francisco, and New York’s High Line. All tracks are also available as instant grats with album pre-orders.

Passenger’s 2016 album, ‘Young As The Morning Old As The Sea’ entered the UK charts at No.1, ahead of Bruce Springsteen, and the subsequent tour saw Rosenberg play his largest headline tour to date with a total audience of over 1.4 million across 29 countries, including playing to over 13,500 people at Amsterdam’s ZiggoDome. Passenger will support the release of ‘Runaway’ with an extensive world tour, beginning in Edinburgh on August 29th with a sold-out show at Queens Hall. His dates in London, Manchester, Birmingham, and Brighton are also sold-out. Support on all UK dates comes from Lucy Rose.

Passenger is one of the most successful UK artists of this decade, a streaming phenomenon who has had well in excess of a billion streams on Spotify. The video for his Ivor Novello Award-winning single ‘Let Her Go’ has been viewed almost two billion times. The single reached No.1 in 19 countries, with the accompanying album ‘All The Little Lights’ achieving platinum or multi-platinum status in 11 countries.

Folliowing a series of prestigious international Festival dates this summer, including a debut appearance at the legendary Newport Folk Festival, Passenger will embark on an extensive world tour in support of ‘Runaway’. The UK leg includes London’s Roundhouse on Sept 8th, which sold out in hours, and his dates in Manchester, Brighton, Birmingham, and Edinburgh are also sold-out.

‘Runaway’ is released on CD, Vinyl LP and download with Deluxe 2CD, 2LP and Deluxe Digital formats available that include Live Acoustic versions of the album recorded across North America.


European Dates:
Aug 29              Edinburgh, Queens Hall (SOLD OUT)
Aug 30              Glasgow, Barrowlands*
Sept 1              Dublin, Vicar Street
Sept 2              Belfast, Ulster Hall
Sept 4              Manchester, Albert Hall (SOLD OUT)
Sept 5              Birmingham, O2 Institute (SOLD OUT)
Sept 8              London, Roundhouse (SOLD OUT)
Sept 9              Brighton, Dome (SOLD OUT)
Sept 15             Munich, Tonhalle (SOLD OUT)
Sept 17             Zurich, Volkshaus
Sept 18             Milan, Alcatraz
Sept 21             Copenhagen, VEGA (SOLD OUT)
Sep 22              Stockholm, Göta Lejon
Sept 24             Berlin, Astra (SOLD OUT)
Sept 26             Amsterdam, AFAS Live (SOLD OUT)
Sept 27             Cologne, Live Music Hall (SOLD OUT)
Sept 29             Antwerp, Trix (SOLD OUT)
Sept 30             Paris, YOYO
*Moved from O2 ABC Glasgow

North America Dates:
Oct 13              Nashville Cannery Ballroom
Oct 14              Atlanta Buckhead Theatre
Oct 16              Washington 9.30 Club
Oct 18              New York Brooklyn Steel
Oct 19              Boston Paradise Rock Club (SOLD OUT)
Oct 21              Montreal Corona Theatre (SOLD OUT)
Oct 23              Toronto Phoenix Concert Theatre (SOLD OUT)
Oct 25              Minneapolis First Avenue
Oct 27              Denver Gothic Theatre
Oct 30               Vancouver Vogue Theatre
Oct 31               Seattle Showbox @ The Market
Nov 2               Portland Crystal Ballroom
Nov 4               San Francisco The Fillmore
Nov 6               Los Angeles The Belaboo

Australia/New Zealand Dates
Nov 13              Auckland, The Power Station
Nov 15              Brisbane, The Tivoli
Nov 17              Melbourne, Forum Melbourne
Nov 18              Sydney, The Enmore Theatre
Nov 20              Adelaide, The Gov
Nov 23              Perth, Astor Theatre
Nov 25              Margaret River, 3 Oceans Winery

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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