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Listen to Music for the End Times with surf wax’s New Single “CEO”

By Margaret Adams

Kansas City-based bedroom pop artist surf wax has just released his new single, “CEO.” This single begins his new era, including his third full-length LP “HERMES,” following his 2020 release of “yacht club.”

surf wax, otherwise known as songwriter Cooper Kelley, makes music described as “bedroom surf pop to combat the depression of late-stage-capitalist living.” Originally from Springfield, MO, the artist found his way through the release of 2 extended plays (The Basement and Dog Days), as well as a full-length album (“Tropic”) in 2019. Kelley then formed a live group with Mackenzie Ballew (bass), Kevin Underwood (guitar), and his father, Bart Kelley (drums) and played shows around the midwest.

surf wax’s new bedroom pop single “CEO” takes elastic-electric guitar and punchy beats along for an up-beat, but melancholic ride. The effect of Kelley’s voice gives the track a radio-esque, pop-hit feel, which contradicts the despairing lyrics; it’s a song for anyone that feels happy and sad at the same time.

“‘CEO’ is a ‘crying on the dance floor’ style pop song that explores a situation in which an ex hit me up to gush about how great her life was on the day of my aunt’s funeral,” said Kelley. “The lyrics stem from the trauma that she inflicted during our relationship and how she just keeps showing up in my life after I thought I could move on. I put all my production focus into making a track that’s incredibly danceable to balance out the sad boy lyrics.”

Fans of Dayglow, Hippo Campus, Clairo, and Boy Pablo should check out surf wax’s new single “CEO” below, as well as “HERMES”, set for release in 2022. Find this and more great music on the Alchemical Records Multigenre Mixture playlist on Spotify


Margaret Adams, Contributing Writer at Alchemical Records

Margaret Adams

Margaret Adams is a Psychology major and Rhetoric and Writing minor at The Catholic University of America from New Orleans, Louisiana. In addition to her work with Alchemical, she writes for CUA’s student newspaper, The Tower, and has recently been named Quill Editor. She enjoys reading, writing, and looking at pictures of her dog, Bella.

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