Whether as part of the presumably defunct The Tough Alliance or as ceo, Erik Berglund’s music has continued to challenge the boundaries of electronic pop music. His former single “WHOREHOUSE” was in many ways his most instantly gratifying, while at the same time embodying a decade long career run of spasmodic tropical flavored pop music. Yet, when he sung “Baby, I’m so lost inside a whorehouse”, it catered for a sense of art vs. commerce duality that seems to play an increasingly important part of his creations. “WONDERLAND” takes a deeper plunge in the artistic side of this duality; all the way down to the bottom of ceo’s rabbit hole. And while still being just as bright and shimmering, this place is more erratic and loosely defined.
“WONDERLAND” starts off as an intense and synth-speckled tribal rave party that eventually collapses into a chant-y and slower paced marvel of a second act. As the song progresses, more and more layers of vocals are introduced – half-sung, half spoken – until the song becomes practically airborne. This is music that most would define as electronic pop, but underneath all the machinery, it’s also life-affirming and profoundly human.
On both “WONDERLAND” and “WHOREHOUSE, everything that up to this point has defined Berglund’s music is augmented and refined into something complete and precise. Sticky hooks, chant-y sing-alongs, blazing synth-lines, erratic percussions – all is there to provide fuel for my soaring anticipations of ceo’s sophomore album. Out February 4 via Modular.