[sic] Magazine

First Glances – Mikhael Paskalev

Even in Norway you tend not to become platinum-selling if you don’t know your way round a decent hook and Mikhael Paskalev has them in spades. And now, Communion Records has decided the time is right to launch the prodigious talent beyond the fjords of his homeland. To be fair it’s probably a wise move because Paskalev’s penchant for post- Mumford & Sons / Of Monsters & Men folk-pop is both insanely catchy and similar stuff is currently shifting obscene volumes both sides of the pond.

Chances are high for his success too as the video for his recent four-track EP’s title track already has over a million views on YouTube. And you can see, or hear, why. It’s a thoroughly charming track that largely manages to avoid being cheesy at the same time. Its stripped-back successor, “Susie”, takes more than a leaf from fellow Scandinavian The Tallest Man on Earth ‘s Bob Dylan crib-notes, his words – of which there seems somehow to be too many – tumble from line to line, his fingers matching his tongue in dexterity, negotiating the fret at frightening speed.

The strong melodies continue with “Come On”, a selection of laidback vibes that bounce with a tinge of sadness like, perhaps, Cayucas but without the overt afro-beats. The EP closer, “Dust”, again offers little reason as to why Paskalev won’t be moderately huge. It’s another very likeable cut of crossover indie/pop whose only fault is that it’s maybe a bit anonymous against a mainstream backdrop of many sound-alikes. Should Paskalev find himself a niche in that crowd all really ought to be golden.

~The I Spy EP is out now via Communion Records.~