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

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

The title track and ‘No Mercy’, 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 ‘Oh God Oh Dear’ and ender ‘Den Blomstertid Nu Kommer’: tracks that sound like the autumn to come, rather than the glorious summer that chillwave, and Berglund, are soon to leave behind.

Kev Kharas

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'White Magic' from Rough Trade Shops.

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