Falling under the spell of singer-songwriter Malin Pettersen is not a difficult thing to do. It took me all of one old school country tune that I watch this wonderful talent from Norway perform in an old school bar in the shadow of Graceland during this year’s Ameripolitan Awards festivities. Her voice was clear to the point of fragility and her stage presence was understated yet commanding. It was a wonder to behold.
The intoxicating sensation has only grown stronger as I’ve gotten to know Pettersen’s pedigree. She was the lead singer of the wonderful country band Lucky Lips and last year, broke out on her own with References Pt. 1, an album of warmly-recorded shitkickers and ballads recorded in her native land. It earned her a well-deserved Spellemann Award (basically, the Norwegian Grammy) and an Ameripolitan nomination. She has since decamped to Nashville for some performances and recording sessions that have yielded a new album, out next year, and a six-song EP Alonesome that will be released on October 11th via Die With Your Boots On.
Paste is lucky enough to have a crack at premiering “Pause,” an absolute stunner from this new collection that was inspired by the work of Iris Dement and Willie Nelson and about which Pettersen says, “is about the fear of forgetting the people in your life whom you love the most, through memory loss or dementia. But it’s also about forgetting who you are in everyday life, and what’s important to you, in the midst of trying to comply with all of society’s norms and expectations. Finally, it’s also about how age isn’t a guarantee for wiseness, but also that we shouldn’t think we become less complex people as we grow older either.”