Album Review: CEO - White Magic (Modular)

The chillwave summer sun finally sets in northern Europe with its Swedish originators

Album Review: CEO - White Magic (Modular)

7 / 10 If I could find a bookies esoteric enough to take it, I’d bet that a decade from now a few million ex-bloggers will be wondering why they can’t show their kids Polaroids of the summer they spent partying with beautiful, well-off Swedes on Iberian rooftops. ‘[b]Chillwave[/b]’ is an imaginary music.

It exists in internet-bound photo albums, filtered Facebook profiles – a music of selective memory, devoted to childhoods that never existed and a cool that dissipates as soon as one takes a shit.

That sound may have made stars of Americans such as [b]Washed Out[/a] and [b]Toro Y Moi[/b], but its essence resides in the hearts of northern Europeans like [b]Air France[/b], [b]Korallreven[/b], [a]jj[/a] and [b]The Tough Alliance[/b]. The latter – the band [b]Eric Berglund[/b], aka [b]CEO[/b], belongs to – and their label [b]Sincerely Yours[/b] have earlier claims to a musical equivalent to super-saturated travel brochures.

Berglund’s debut solo outing as [b]CEO[/b] arrives swathed in sighing autumnal strings and wintry bell chimes at just the right moment. ‘[b]White Magic[/b]’ has the feel of a holiday resort preparing for off-season downtime, opener ‘[b]All Around[/b]’ beginning in the same ominous rumbles that end the album, the sound of ecstatic lungs resigned to deflation.

The title track and ‘[b]No Mercy[/b]’, this album’s party songs, come bathed in the sort of sunlight that accompanies school returns and ending holidays, but the real stars here are orchestral eulogies ‘[b]Oh God Oh Dear[/b]’ and ender ‘[b]Den Blomstertid Nu Kommer[/b]’: tracks that sound like the autumn to come, rather than the glorious summer that chillwave, and Berglund, are soon to leave behind.

[b]Kev Kharas[/b]

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'White Magic' from Rough Trade Shops.

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