Hear Sportsman’s R&B-Soaked ‘Champagne’
'Usher' EP is out now via Best Fit Recordings
Sportsman is Per Magnusson, a member of soul-steeped Swedish sophisti-poppers the Sonnets. Taking his solo moniker from a brand of cigarettes, he worked with producers Johan Cederberg and Victor Holmberg to craft the Usher EP, a set of plush R&B-pop that brings to mind the woozy late-night ambiance of the Weeknd or Solange’s Saint Heron comp along with the beaming melodies that made Sweden famous. Label Best Fit Recordings has already shared the dreamy title track and “Rally,” a duet with Those Dancings Days’ Linnea Jönsson.
Now comes EP closer “Champagne,” a softly swaying rhapsody on the bubbly stuff. The richly detailed electronic production recalls a certain ceo, and the smoothly dolorous, concluding saxophone solo would’ve fit in on Jens Lekman’s latest. But the mention of a “balcony” is a jarring reminder of how naturally a Jeezy verse would complement the slow-paced proceedings. “Your words now ring away / You said we’d never change,” Magnusson sings atop rippling piano. He may be in a mood more for drinking than for popping corks, but the song is still worth celebrating. Buy the Usher EP on iTunes.