NINA PERSSON (THE CARDIGANS, A CAMP) PREMIERES NEW VIDEO ON HARPER’S BAZAAR
‘ANIMAL HEART’ OUT TODAY (IN NORTH AMERICA) VIA THE END RECORDS
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE New York, NY (February 11, 2014) – In celebration of the release of Nina Persson’s (The Cardigans, A Camp) debut solo record ‘Animal Heart’, Harper’s BAZAAR has premiered the new lyric video for popular track ‘Food For The Beast’.
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As one of Sweden’s biggest pop stars over the past decade, Nina Persson, known internationally as the iconic lead vocalist of the seminal pop-rock band The Cardigans, who took over the world in the late nineties with the smash hit ‘Lovefool’ (which reached the coveted No. 1 spot in both the UK and US going on to sell in excess of 2.5 million copies worldwide), has forever been an artist who dared to push the creative envelope, successfully scaling new heights in the process.
In 2001 following several years of touring with The Cardigans and the release of the group’s fourth studio album, Gran Turismo, Persson formed – A Camp, a project that birthed two critically acclaimed albums (A Camp in 2001 and Colonia in 2009).
It has been almost five years since A Camp’s most recent album, and The Cardigans have not made new music since 2005. During that time however, Persson has kept very busy collaborating with a wide variety of renowned artists including Manic Street Preachers, Sparklehorse, Danger Mouse, The Cake Sale Collective (a community of artists that includes Australian musician Nick Seymour of Crowded House), performed with a cabaret act in New York – The Citizens Band, and made her big screen debut as a Finnish tango singer in the 2006 film, God Willing by Amir Chamdin.
So who is Nina Persson today, and who is the artist we meet on her first solo album?
Persson has written everything with husband Nathan Larson (A Camp, Shudder To Think), also a noted film composer, and Eric D. Johnson (The Shins, Fruit Bats), but with a new approach. They “hung around” at the house in Harlem and played the songs with just a drum machine, a guitar and piano before going into the studio.
“The most difficult, yet perhaps the most positive aspect of going solo are all the decisions you have to make alone” says Persson. “Somewhere inside, I have a very clear clock, a gut feeling, that says what I think. I have forced myself to just keep going and follow my instincts with this album. I have simply no time to dwell on things anymore which I did a lot before.”
Nina and Eric became friends when the ex-Shins member worked on film music along with Nathan at the Persson/Larson couple’s residence. Meanwhile, Nina was at home with a new baby and the three clicked immediately. Then came the idea to do a solo album with both of them contributing as songwriters.
“Eric lives in Portland, but has been in New York working with us for several stretches. This time I decided to experiment a bit with disco and soul. It has been both new and somewhat liberating for me” says Persson.
In many ways, it is a new Nina we meet. At the same time, she takes a couple of clear steps forward in her development with tracks that land somewhere between the melancholy of A Camp and blue-eyed soul. Several tracks also contain soundscapes reminiscent of one of her first musical roots – 80’s pop!
What is the album about then?
Songs like “Animal Heart” (the albums lead single) and “Burning Bridges For Fuel” address the ever-present theme of moving forward and not getting trapped in the past. “My animal heart is telling me to flee… ” sings Persson.
“Both with The Cardigans and A Camp, I have done everything with very driven, career-oriented musicians, but now I wanted to put my own instrument first. Honor the singer. I have also in my work understood that pop music is lodged deeper in me than I previously wanted to admit.”
For Persson, it is important to have a musical setting and concept before she can write. Her music needs a context and a frame. “What I write is still a lot about relationships and alienation. The perennial topics that I always return to” says Persson.
In recent years, Nina also thought a lot about rooms, which is one of the archetypes in the Jungian dream interpretation. Her recurring dreams involve rooms and houses. Every now and then, Nina finds a door she has never opened.
“I love set design and a theater stage, and think rooms are super interesting both figuratively and physically. This time I wanted to try to get this fascination into music. Rooms in the forest or underwater. Although all songs still, more or less, are about alienation and relationships, I wanted to put new imagery into my old themes. I’ve become very enamored with animals and the forest, even though I am a typical city person. Water, trees, and greenery; I have been almost obsessed with finding it in my own city, even it is a bit difficult in Manhattan” says Persson.
Other tracks like “Catch me crying” and “The Grand Destruction Game” are about past love relationships. But Persson does not always know herself if it is sexual relationships she sings of, or friendships.
“But it deals with sentimentality and how to respond to it” she says.
The topic came up very powerfully last summer when Persson, after a several-year break, played with The Cardigans again. Together they toured and performed their old songs.
“It was really wonderful. We did not go through that long and anxious process of making a new album. We just started playing together again. We realized that we‘ve missed each other, so it ‘s about what you do with that feeling – that friendships or a relationship can so easily go up in smoke. One’s sense of togetherness remains, even through times without actual contact.”
Now Persson is eager to share her first solo album with the world. Supported by an international tour this year, she looks forward to delighting new fans and old with her charismatic voice and thought provoking lyrics on ‘Animal Heart’ out February 11th 2014 (In North America) via The End Records.
‘Animal Heart’ Tracklisting
01. Animal Heart
02. Burning Bridges For Fuel
03. Dreaming Of Houses
04. Clip Your Wings
06. Food For The Beast
08. Forgot To Tell You
09. Catch Me Crying
10. The Grand Destruction Game
12. This Is Heavy Metal
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