Interview, Music

‘Sympathy for the Drivel’, the second single from Alexander Pettersen’ upcoming album out today

Photo: Olga Bushueva / IHTLNY

The first single ‘Dance Again’ was released in December 2023 and was a lovely 80s inspired song with “über-catchy keyboard hook and slightly strolling pop groove”. The new single is a more low tempo but it has the same wonderful 80’ vibes. So what is so special about the 80s..?

“Hehe, well it was the period of me being 0-10 years old, so there is nostalgia in heaps and bounds”, Alexander Pettersen says. “Also a lot of fear- Chernobyl, the Palme assasination, apartheid.

But probably the best thing about the 80’s for me is sitting in the backseat of the family car, going on holiday, singing along to the radio or cassette tapes with my sister.”

‘Dance Again’ got its inspiration from Bowie, Talking Heads and The Cure. But what about ‘Sympathy for the Drivel’..?

Alexander Pettersen: “Tough one. I’m not sure there was a huge inspiration for this song. Not consciously anyway. I wrote most of this in one sitting, on an old Hammond organ. And it came out pretty quickly. There was no plan or initial thought to make this one 80s-sounding, but I guess that changed. After the song had marinated for a while it felt right to take it in an 80s direction. I wanted to sort of capture that sound and feeling of sitting in the backseat of the family car with my sister I guess.”

According to the artist, there is no connection with the Rolling Stones’ ‘Sympathy for the Devil’, except “for a striking similarity in the title”. But let’s be honest, his new single sounds so incredibly good that it deserves to get the same popularity as the RS hit.

Listen to the new single on your preferred streaming service:

Cover photo and design: Marthe Amanda Vannebo