A Booster Shot of Paskalev
Pop music seems to be the order of the day for Mikhael Paskalev. The brevity of his four song debut record Sayonara Saigon is like a musical candy corn for the first-time listener. It’s fun, catchy, and perhaps before you even know what it is you heard, you want to listen again. That, of course, would be the point.
Each of the fours songs on the record offers a distinctive experience from the last and showcases Paskalev’s songwriting abilities, energy, and unique voice that some could mistake for Paul Simon if they weren’t listening carefully. The opening song, “I Spy,” put his name on the map with an accompanying video inspired by the famous Tom Cruise scene in Risky Business. In it, the Joaquin Phoenix lookalike dances around exuberantly in his tighty whities and dress shirt to the strains of the lines “Did I, ra ra ra ra rai rai; did I ra ra dai rai.” The title track “Sayonara Saigon” stands out for its slow first half and double time ending that catches the listener by surprise in its energy. It makes sense that Paskalev claims inspiration from songwriters like Paul Simon, the Everly Brothers and Edward Sharpe. The songs are tight, unique, and don’t leave room for the listener to get bored.
The Norwegian newcomer is in the midst of a North American tour to introduce himself and promote the collection of songs. Paskalev has apparently made waves in Norway and created something of a stir in Australia, and now its North America’s turn. At least one of the songs on this record, if not all four of them, will likely be reaching your ears in the near future. Call it a booster shot of Paskalev.