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Introducing Ambassador Mike McCarthy.
There are many ways to escape, and here at Passenger we care to explore many forms. Life is a journey, and sometimes it’s not the places that excite you but the people. Those that you meet along the way; perhaps they help you when you’re down and out, or bring some light into your life through their art.
We have been fortunate to meet many individuals along the way, and one of our biggest inspirations is a young man named Mike McCarthy.
Mike and Passenger go way back, all the way back to the very beginning. It was around seven years ago while trekking through Sri Lanka, founders Rich and Alex met Yoss and Jess Oldfield, with Yoss later becoming one of our ambassadors.
It was a lifelong connection forged through stories of travel, surfing, and most importantly escapism.
During this time Yoss and Jess turned Rich and Alex on to a friend of theres, Mike McCarthy.
Returning home, with the spark of intrigue ignited and the laborious task of building Passenger ahead, Rich and Alex did some digging and in Rich’s words: “Mike’s music had a real impact on the direction and story of Passenger. It was this connection through music why Mike became an ambassador for Passenger. Mike's music has a real depth and connection, it’s the kind of music to escape with; escapism being the art of Passenger.”
We are always excited to celebrate the achievements of those we hold dear, and Mike is not shy of achievements. His music has accompanied various surf themed films and documentaries, from the likes of ‘Seaworthy, to Stoked and Broke,’ and ‘One Perfect day.’ As well as playing shows across four continents.
This month he has brought us his eighth studio album, and we honestly cannot say enough nice things about it.
‘Serious Face,’ as Mike puts it: “started as this idea of poking fun at myself for being so serious... I wanted to step back and look at how a week in the life of me goes.”
The album truly does come off as a fun, thigh slapping, homage to the journey. Whether that journey for you is a mundane day-to-day, or a long ridden road trip. Serious Face is an experience in itself. It is pure adventure.
Clearly drawing influences from the grooving 60s era of blues, psychedelia, and most importantly: rock and roll — Mike has created a superb work of art.
The opening track ‘serious face’ truly embodies the 60’s groove, with a stomping Ringo-esq beat. The uplifting not so serious look of life instantly moves you through an abundance of emotional highs and lows, fitting for any journey.
Tracks like ‘Satisfy my Soul,’ with it’s chunky rhythm guitar, thumping bass and hard hitting drums. As well as more beautifully layered melancholic tunes like ‘On your Mind,’ a smorgasbord of instruments, creating a full bodied track of vocal harmonies, slide guitar, and pure passion.
There’s something avant-guard to the album, yet it’s the perfect balance of old and new. A reocurring sense of deja-vu stalks you through the adventure, but there’s enough nostalgia to keep you company — although you can never pinpoint the location.
This is the beauty in Mike’s song writing. Perfectly blending traditional blues rock and roll, with enough of his own passion and talent, you’ll find yourself listening to the album on repeat.
It is these connections through life that make the journey that much sweeter. Here at Passenger there is nothing more we love than to explore and escape. We feel there is adventure to be had everywhere. But most importantly, the best way to experience all of this is with those near and dear.
Whether it’s your next door neighbour, or a soul on the opposite end of the globe, it’s the memories we forge, the bridges we build, and bonds we grow that keep us firmly rooted to this ethos in these crazy and uncertain times.
Find your adventure, dive on in, and escape to your bliss.
You can check out Mike’s music here: