Let Her Go is a song written and recorded by British singer-songwriter Passenger. It was recorded at Sydney’s Linear Recording and co-produced by Mike Rosenberg and Chris Vallejo. The recording features Australian musicians Stu Larsen, Georgia Mooney, Stu Hunter, Cameron Undy and Glenn Wilson. Let Her Go was released in July 2012 as the second single from Passenger’s third album All the Little Lights. In early 2013, the song broke through in Europe and Oceania, reaching # 1 in Australia, Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden and Switzerland, making it his first international success.
Mike Rosenberg is a British singer-songwriter and indie pop/folk/rock singer, who records under the moniker of Passenger. He was the founder, main vocalist and songwriter of the four-piece folk rock band of the same name that were based in Brighton, England and released just one album. They opened up for several high-profile indie acts throughout the UK, including Kate Nash and the Hold Steady, but in 2009 the members of the band chose to go their own separate ways. Rosenberg opted to keep the name Passenger for his solo work and in 2012, he released his third solo album, All The Little Lights, which was recorded at Sydney’s Linear Recording and featured a more fully fleshed-out sound.
Mike Rosenberg explained the song’s meaning to Female First:
“In my mind the song has two meanings;” he said, “the first is quite literal as I wrote it after a break up and it is about letting her go. But then there is a bigger idea going on and is more about not really understanding and knowing what you have until it is gone and I think everyone can definitely relate to.”
Rosenberg told VH1:
“It didn’t take long to write, at all. Under an hour, I think. When I wrote it, I definitely felt like it had something… I never had a song on the radio, I didn’t believe I could have a song on the radio, because generally, folk music doesn’t get on commercial radio, it just doesn’t. I kinda thought that that kind of success was for other people, people who really tried to get that kind of success, because I never have.”
The music video (see above) was directed and produced by the Australian video artist Dave Jensen and shows the stage being prepared for a Passenger concert, with footage of Passenger performance with his backing band and shots of the audience present reacting.
Editor’s Note: This song has snuck into my musical mind and has not let go for about three weeks’ time. I wake up and it is there, spinning around, then landing on the tip of my tongue. It stays there until I seek it out and hit play, singing-a-long, often repeating it three or four times. Lost love and “what could have been” tend to be a weakness of mine, and the lingering thoughts of such thing a near fatal flaw.
Los Angeles writer, mother, lover of music, books, film, tv, travel, cooking, jukeboxes, lists, themes, game nights, potlucks, coffee, letters, postcards, and conversation. Ever-evolving, learning, and changing. Every day is another opportunity to do better.
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