A Camp's Cardigan Cowgirl

A Camp's Cardigan Cowgirl
Fans of the Cardigans might have a bit of a preconceived notion as to what a Nina Persson solo record might sound like. When the stunning songbird is penning tunes with the Swedish five-piece we are blessed with pop greatness and electro-bliss. So who would have thought that someone who is known for adoring Black Sabbath would craft an effort that has a hefty country vibe? "I've been listening to country for a couple of years now," admits Persson while discussing her self-titled release as A Camp. "For my own stuff it's really where I wanted to go."

Persson was never really interested in recording an album outside of the Cardigans but a meeting with Niclas Frisk from Atomic Swing turned her on to the notion. "I wouldn't have made a solo album a few years ago because I've never really been interested in the concept of doing a solo record just because I can. I really do prefer to work with people. When you're solo you're never really alone anyway, unless you play every single instrument in the world. To me making music with people is half of the joy and being in the studio with other people is when I really understand why I chose this job."

It's an unexpected place to land for an artist who, with the Cardigans, stretched from catchy lounge music to darkened pop songs and last left us with the electronic-lined masterpiece Gran Turismo? "When I met Niclas we started talking about what type of music we wanted to do and that's when I felt like I found the right format to do a record in." Frisk also played a role in their early recordings of what is now A Camp by adding his influence of country and classic songwriting techniques. "He's also a big country fan and he's a little bit older than I am and has a record collection that kind of ends where mine starts. It was really inspiring to hook up with him because he's a more traditional songwriter. He was in a pure ‘70s rock band and it was good to meet someone who didn't really have a pop experience like I had because I felt that was not necessarily everything that I was about."

A few listens are required to embrace the beauty of A Camp, especially people who might be expecting similar ties to Persson's efforts with the Cardigans, rather than a county-influenced presentation. And in the end this is what makes her debut rewarding — the fact that her individual material differs from her existing place in music and warrants a solo record. "The people that are really shocked are the people that I can tell really like the Cardigans," says Persson. "While people who know me better are not at all shocked. They were expecting exactly what came out of me."