This week in music

As the semester starts to get stressful, take a deep breath and relax with these calming tracks this week.

Passenger – “Anywhere – Acoustic”

Michael David Rosenberg, better known as Passenger, continues to churn out masterpieces as proved by his sixth album release. Last year, Rosenberg released his fifth solo album only seven years after his band broke up in 2009.

“Anywhere – Acoustic” is a stripped down remix of the song from “Young As The Morning, Old As The Sea” from Passenger’s album by the same name. The track sums up the mood of the album with its sweeping lyrics and calming acoustic backtrack.

In the track, Rosenberg sings, “Oh, and I will be with you/ When the darkest winter comes/ Oh, and I will be with you/ To feel the California sun,” promising to stick around through the good times and the bad times. In his typical fashion, Passenger somehow turns simple words into a comforting romantic lullaby.

Passenger will perform at the 9:30 Club March 8. His latest album, “Young As The Morning, Old As The Sea” was released in September.

Bastille – “Blame (Bunker Sessions)”

When Bastille’s second studio album dropped three years after the soaring success of “Bad Blood,” it became clear Bastille’s comeback would be triumphant. The album jumped to the No. 1 spot on the U.K. and Scottish album charts within two weeks.

The new version of “Blame” is characterized as “Bunker Sessions,” which means the song is a toned-down version of the song from Bastille’s album “Wild World.” The new track, released Jan. 20, removes electric guitar, heavy drums and mixed vocals to reveal a foundation of pulsing piano layered with multiple strings and light clapping to accompany the vocals. The light instrumentals allow for the raw emotional vocals to come through on this version of the track.

Though the track is short at just three minutes, Dan Smith’s impressive range keeps the listener captivated. Though this is one of many “Blame” remixes – there are four more by different artists – it certainly stands above the rest.

Bastille will perform at the Eagle Bank Arena in Fairfax, Va. March 28. Their latest album “Wild World,” which “Blame – Bunker Sessions” was revamped from, was released on Sept. 9.

Portugal. The Man – “Noise Pollution”

When Portugal. The Man posted a new YouTube video for the song “Noise Pollution” Dec. 1, the caption had an unexpected message.

“There’s a flood of noise right now that feels like it might drown us,” the band wrote. “It’s harder and harder to tell what’s fact, what’s opinion and what’s straight up bullshit.”

Portugal. The Man, like many of the rest of us, are a little disillusioned with U.S. politics. In a multi-artist collaboration, “Noise Pollution” includes a steady drum beat and computer synth accompaniment, which quickly revs up and inspires listeners.

The lyrics say “With my fist in the air/ ‘Je suis Charlie,’” pledging solidarity with the victims of the Charlie Hebdo attack in Paris on in January 2015. Other lyrics in the song criticize the abundance of technology that leads people to “live leak the revolution” instead of joining it.

Other artists featured in the track are Mary Elizabeth Winstead and Zoe Manville. Winstead, a well-known horror movie actress, entered the music scene when she collaborated with Dan the Automator in 2013 and has and has been featured in other artists’ collaborations. Manville, though not an official member of Portugal. The Man, often contributes to tracks.

Portugal. The Man will perform at 9:30 Club April 1st. “Noise Pollution” was released on Dec. 1st, 2016.

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