Audio

CEO – MIRAGE

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Today, ceo premiered the third track of his impending album release. In contrast, “MIRAGE” is more discrete, without lacking any of the tropical flavored brilliance of the two former teasers. It’s a comedown after the erratic tribal party of “WONDERLAND”, but the lack of energy is more than rectified by gentle pulses of beautiful synth drones and beguiling chants. By now it shouldn’t be any doubts that Erik Berglund has something spectacular up his sleeve. WONDERLAND is out February 4 in the US and February 3 in UK/Europe.

Audio

CEO – WONDERLAND

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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.

CEO – WHOREHOUSE

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INSTANT CLASSIC NEW

In terms of cheekiness and resourcefulness, The Tough Alliance always seems to have shared a common ground with Animal Collective. Standing alone, Erik Beglund’s moniker ceo, is not unlike a less-folk-more-pop version of Panda Bear fused with the brashness of John Lydon. But where Panda Bear and his fellow collective rather sits around a campfire, the music of Berglund is a full-out beach party. While listening to “WHOREHOUSE” it strikes me just how little that has changed in Berglund’s idiosyncratic universe. The melody  is pure joy, and the “I don’t give a flying fuck” attitude that always played a huge part of his aesthetics, is just as present as ever. Maybe not as controversial as part of The Tough Alliance,  but on “WHOREHOUSE” Berglung lacks the same disregard for anything contemporary  or “trendy sounding”. Instead “WHOREHOUSE” is yet another tropical-flavored pop song with an irresistible chorus that fires at you with a relentless force of cheap sounding synth drones, disorienting squeals and Berglund’s cocksure harmonies.

Ceo’s sophomore album WONDERLAND is due out February 4 via Modular.