If A Camp’s accent-tinged female vocalist sounds familiar, it’s because you’ve almost certainly heard her before. Nina Persson is also lead singer of The Cardigans, one of Sweden’s biggest musical exports, and A Camp is her side project. Her first album as A Camp gained wide critical acclaim in 2001, but, due to the continued commercial success of The Cardigans, only now have they had time to follow it up.Having read that A Camp showed a darker side to Nina, I expected something much more serious, and perhaps even boring, than I actually found on Colonia. In fact, it has more hooks than some of The Cardigans previous albums. If I had been told it was their new release, I wouldn’t have guessed otherwise, and fail to see how anyone could.
The highlight for me is certainly ‘Golden Teeth and Silver Medals,’ a charming duet with her husband, which has wonderfully poetic lyrics. Rousing lead single ‘Stronger than Jesus’ is another favourite, along with tribal romp ‘Here are Many Wild Animals.’ Contemplative ballads sit side by side with quirky pop songs on this album, which has already earned Nina the front cover of The Independent’s Sunday supplement.
It seems an unfortunate irony that this side-project, intended to be a break from the limelight for Nina, is pushing her right back into it. Yet for fans of her work with The Cardigans, it’s a lovely treat to find that the wait for their new album was not such a long one after all.