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U.K. Breakout Star Passenger Preps New Album 'Whispers'

'Let Her Go' singer will debut new track on 'The Tonight Show'

Mike Rosenberg of Passenger performs in Landgraaf, Netherlands.
Mark Venema/Getty Images
March 26, 2014 8:45 AM ET

Mike Rosenberg has been busking and serenading bar patrons as Passenger since he dropped out of high school at 17. He's traveled across Europe and released a slew of independent albums, and now, following the sudden success of his somber folk tune, "Let Her Go," the Brighton, U.K. singer-songwriter will release his new album, Whispers on June 10th.

The album's lead single, "Scare Away the Dark," will hit iTunes and other digital stores in North America on April 1st, with Passenger debuting the track on The Tonight Show on Friday, March 28th.

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Passenger recorded Whispers' 11 songs in Sydney with co-producer Chris Vallejo. While the album grapples with real and fictional tales of death, love and aging, Rosenberg calls Whispers "easily the most 'up' album I’ve ever made. 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. Mostly though, it’s a really positive album.”

Whispers' title track, in particular, finds Rosenberg grappling with his inner turmoil as "Let Her Go" took off. After picking up a co-sign from, and opening gigs with, Ed Sheeran, Passenger went on to sell 1 million copies of the song last October and more than 2.5 million copies overall, while the video captured more than 155 million views on YouTube.

"That song was ready to be the face of what I did and be a really good advert for Passenger," Passenger recently told Rolling Stone. "So much of this was dependent on being there at the right time. 'Let Her Go' was just another piece, really."

Passenger's overnight success has been six years in the making, however, and the musician also spoke about his time trying to find his footing and voice. At one point, Passenger was a four-piece band, but unsatisfied with their album, 2007's Wicked Man's Rest, Rosenberg struck out on his own, traveling around Europe with a case of CDs and two T-shirts. "I didn't expect anything," he says. "I only wanted the songs I'd written to document that time in my life, and if 10 people bought it, then great, and if 1,000 people bought it, then great. I certainly wasn't doing it to make money."

Whispers Track List:

1. Coins In A Fountain
2. 27
3. Heart’s On Fire
4. Bullets
5. Golden Leaves
6. Thunder
7. Rolling Stone
8. Start A Fire
9. Whispers
10. Riding To New York
11. Scare Away The Dark

To read the new issue of Rolling Stone online, plus the entire RS archive: Click Here

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