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Nina Persson: The Cardigans' Charismatic, Swooning Voice Returns

Watch the Swedish pop singer perform songs from her first solo album, Animal Heart, in the Soundcheck studio.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Nina Persson performs in the Soundcheck studio. Nina Persson performs in the Soundcheck studio. (Michael Katzif / WNYC)

Since "Lovefool," (and, let's be honest, since Baz Luhrmann’s Romeo + Juliet soundtrack) wistfully romanced its way onto pop radio and movie theaters in the late-1990’s -- and became, at least for a time, an inescapable No. 1 hit propelling The Cardigans to international acclaim -- Nina Persson has been one of Sweden’s most distinctive and beloved singers. As the iconic vocalist and lyricist of that seminal band, Persson’s been a boundary-pushing artist, creating fizzy and heartsick pop songs built around loungey atmosphere, trip hop grooves, and her trademark beguiling voice. And for anyone who grew up with The Cardigans’ albums First Band On the Moon and Gran Turismo, Persson’s swooning voice is the sound of nostalgia.

Since The Cardigans, Persson has collaborated with many renowned artists including Manic Street Preachers, Sparklehorse and Danger Mouse, and A Camp, a project with husband Nathan Larson. But in all this time, she's never done a record under her name. Until now: Five years since the last A Camp record (2009’s Colonia), Persson is back with new music, with her first solo album, Animal Heart.

For the new album, Persson says she wanted to simplify and “honor the singer,” writing most of the songs with Larson and Eric D. Johnson (formerly of The Shins and Fruit Bats) -- along with Joan As Policewoman’s Joan Wasser on “Food For The Beast.” And with songs like “Burning Bridges For Fuel” and the title track, Animal Heart is another fine effort from the always-charismatic singer.

 

Set List:

  • "Animal Heart"
  • "Forgot To Tell You"
  • "Burning Bridges For Fuel"

Guests:

Nina Persson

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