Erik Hassle is crushing it. As I mentioned when
Noisey premiered his video for “Talk About It”
back in November, I was pretty indifferent to Hassle’s previous two albums, but since “Talk About It”—which was followed lately by his
Somebody Else’s Party
EP (listen to it in full below)—I’ve become a full blown obsessive. Hassle’s raw, soulful confessionals, delivered in his Prince-like falsetto, are on almost constant loop. Premiering above is the video for “Innocence Lost,” a gorgeously rich duet with Tinashe: soak up those distorted synths, regal horns, and the way their voices twist and turn over each other. (Sidenote: you should really get involved with Tinashe.
Read more about her and listen to her music here.
Still only 25, there’s been a definite stylistic shift since Hassle first signed a record deal aged just seventeen. As Hassle puts it: “On the first album I worked with three writers, they were holding my hand. I wasn't really ready for my own vision: back then it was everyone’s vision.”
On this EP, and his forthcoming album, the Swedish singer is still working top-notch producers like John Hill (Santigold, Skaters), and TOTR’s Dave Sitek, among others, but this time round Hassle’s far more assured: “In a way it feels like I'm doing my first album.” (Erik Hassle fun fact: he had a hand in writing Shakira’s recent smash“Can’t Remember To Forget You.”)
No doubt Hassle’s change in environment also contributed to this newly minted sound: a couple of years ago Hassle swapped his home country’s frigid winters for LA’s milder climes where he now hangs out with fellow artist transplants Niki and the Dove, Icona Pop, and Elliphant.
Given Hassle’s propensity to spill his romantic guts all over his music, it seemed fitting to pin down the singer to take part in our regular feature, This Modern Love—ostensibly a dating questionnaire we ripped from OkCupid.
Watch the video above, read his words, fall in love with this soft-centered man, and please make out to his music. Thanks.
THIS MODERN LOVE
I would say I'm a quite talented person[Laughs], I'm quite good at learning new things, I'm very sensitive. I get easily stuck in things, everything from stuck in my ways of thinking, to stuck in eating the same thing a lot. I’ve heard I’m also pragmatic.
What I'm doing with my life:
Oh, shit. I'm almost scared to answer that question because I'm just waiting to turn 30— I'm just seeing this crisis coming because I'm a bit worried about this whole self-focused [artist’s] life I'm living. So I'm kind of aware that I will have a breakdown when I'm a little bit older and I'm gonna have to deal with so many things. But I guess the answer will be that I’m trying to create and I'm enjoying life now.
I’m really good at:
Soccer and golf. I'm also observant and I think I'm pretty good at making people feel comfortable and not nervous around me.
The first thing people usually notice about me is:
That I can't really stand still when I'm talking. I have to move all the time. I'm not nervous, it's just that I like the whole movement.
I’m not a big reader. I like to read on vacation but I’ve only had two vacations since I was 18. I really, really wish I could do that more. My favorite book is probably The Book Thief which is about a little Jewish girl in the Second World War who steals book from rich German people. It's beautiful.
I love psychological thrillers and scary stuff, when it really just fucks with you. I'm a big David Lynch fan—Lost Highway, Mulholland Drive. True Romance is one of my favorite movies too. Patricia Arquette is so beautiful and charming in it. Also Tarantino had a hand in it: I think I’m pretty romantic when it comes to movies; I love q mix that's both violent and romantic. That’s a good combo.
Favorite TV shows:
Twin Peaks, Lost, The Wire. My favorite all-time is Eastbound and Down. The characters are very twisted and I love the mix of darkness and how funny it always is.
With Wilson Pickett and Sly Stone I heard something that I hadn't heard before, in the way they said the words—something really real and passionate. They delivered the words very simply, yet it could sound so big. I love drugs and techno together, for example, because it's like so minimalistic and simple, then you fuck with it and it's like taking the most amazing shower ever. I love old Marvin Gaye that sounds almost obvious when you first hear it, like "Sexual Healing," or "Ain't No Mountain High Enough." With "Sexual Healing" you can play it at a party and then I can listen to it by myself and listen to the flavor in his voice and what he's singing about, and when he, like, fades out talking about masturbating and everything gets so dark. I love music with layers I can really dig into.
Vietnamese. It's got the perfect mix of everything.
Six things I could never live without:
3. I have a really hard time imagining living without my father. He doesn't seem that old at all, but he’s 74. He's just the best person I've met.
4. I guess not being able to make music or channel my feelings into something creative. When I'm not living creative I get really lazy. If I get the things inside of me out, it’s a relief: it makes my steps a little lighter. And when I don't do that, I could easily be cool with just playing video games!
5. A summer house. My parents have one an hour south of Stockholm. There's no electricity there or tap water. There’s a lake that you wash yourself in. There’s no internet so the days get so long it's crazy. Like you spend the weekend there and you have nothing to do except wait until it's dinner—the biggest thing is making food. When you read the paper you just read everything in there, every little column and everything. It's really eye-opening to realize how used you are to being entertained Like when you’re on the computer and you have, eight different windows open at the same time as you're watching a movie. I have this program on my computer where I can just put everything into squares so I can do many things at the same time. So sometimes I watch something at the same time as I'm answering emails. It’s nice to be as far away from that as you possibly could be.
6. Having somewhere that’s the opposite of a country house. Being somewhere where it all happens is because it's fun.
I spend a lot of time thinking about:
The same things, like, over and over again. I'm trying to get better at moving on. I usually get stuck in the same, like, pattern. In general I spend a lot of time just thinking too much about everything. Thinking about thinking. [Laughs] I would be more happy if I didn't care as much.
On a typical Friday night I am:
There are no typical Friday nights. I haven’t kept count of weekdays since I was eighteen. This summer, because I was back in Sweden, a typical Friday night was to go to some great party in the forest and dance. To techno. There were a lot of those nights. It was so fun. A typical Friday night in LA would probably be to just have dinner with some good friends.
The most private thing I'm willing to admit:
Oh, wow. I'm really private, that's hard. I once cried to America’s Next Top Model.
You should message me if:
It would be really nice to have someone to watch soccer with, because no one does that in America. If you like to spend your Sunday breakfast watching French League soccer message me! Let's see how many people react to that, probably not that many!
Kim has no problem listening to the same song 10 times in a row. She's on Twitter - @theKTB