Norwegian songwriter Mikhael Paskalev is gearing up to release his debut album in the U.S., the wonderfully titled What’s Life Without Losers. But before that, we’ll be getting a teaser EP called Jive Babe. “Dust” appears on both and is one of the darker songs on the record he says, even though it’s about summer. “[It’s about] how the heat and the chicks will leave you stupefied with a lot of memories that you might not really recognize, but you know their yours,” he tells Hive. “Set in a bit of a cowboy-disco soundscape, naturally.”
Paskalev’s career has been anything but dusty over the last year, starting when he released the excellent video for “I Spy,” which found him dancing Tom Cruise in Risky Business throughout. It’s garnered close to 800,000 views and for good reason: it’s beautifully shot and finds Paskalev existing somewhere between witty and ridiculous.
For “Dust,” it’s a more constrained approach and he admits that it was written in two different waves — the riff and versus came first and then several months later, the chorus presented itself one day when he was noodling around on his guitar.
These days, he’s influenced by classic soul more than anything folkie. “I’ve been listening a lot to Al Green lately,” he says. “I´ve always been very drawn to soul… but there are too many people ruining it with Stevie Wonder-“Superstition” sound-alikes and vocal thrills all over the place.”
Jive Babe is out June 4 on Mom+Pop.