Erik Hassle hasn’t had much luck breaking into the international music market outside of his homeland.
Despite being met with warm reception in Sweden for his 2009 debut Hassle (which soared to #2 on the Swedish Albums Chart), the singer failed to make further waves internationally with the release of both his debut UK single “Hurtful” (which stalled at #57 on the UK Singles Chart) and his debut’s 2010 repackaging, Pieces (which failed to chart).
With “Are You Leaving” however, the lead single from his upcoming mini-album Mariefried Sessions, the Swede-pop singer might have just hit his stride enough to break out on a worldwide level.
“Are You Leaving” is, as MuuMuse contributor Sam Lansky first described it to me, very much the male version of Robyn‘s quintessential “Dancing On My Own”: Heartbreak lyrics; disco beat. It’s the classic definition of “sad disco” as only a Swede-born could craft, rich with nostalgic reflections and hard-hitting synthesizers.
But upon further listening I’m hearing even more references–including a touch of early-’90’s heartbreak alt-rock within the chorus a la R.E.M. (“Losing My Religion” comes to mind, more specifically.) Two incredible songs to reference, no?
In either case, Hassle’s latest provides beats that’ll produce both a lump in your throat and a pep in your step. Completely and utterly MuuMuse Approved–I hope you love it too!
“Are You Leaving?” was released in Sweden on February 16. Mariefried Sessions will be released on March 23. (iTunes)