Both ceo and The Tough Alliance have a strong habit of making songs that are more or less built on a foundation of pure joy. Running through wide open fields, picking a flower and then giving it to yourself as a gift, doing a cartwheel on a beach, sleeping on a cloud...we could go on. But both acts are also really good at making even the cleanest, happiest things seem a little dark or sad, as illustrated in the Marcus Soderlund-directed video for "Illuminata," possibly the most buoyant ceo song yet. It's mostly about tennis in a really dark room, but there's some stuff with a plant toward the end that makes us want to re-watch the whole thing and inject all sorts of personal memory into what it all means.
December 15, 2010