- Colonia (A Camp album)
Colonia Studio album by A Camp Released January 28, 2009
(see release history)
Recorded April 2007 - August 2008 Genre Alternative Length 43:39 Label Universal (Scandinavia)
Reveal Records (Europe)
Producer Nina Persson
A Camp chronology A Camp
Singles from Colonia
- "Stronger Than Jesus"
Released: January 19, 2009
- "Love Has Left the Room"
Released: April 27, 2009
- "My America"
Released: May 25, 2009
Professional ratings Review scores Source Rating Allmusic  The A.V. Club (C) BBC Music (favourable) Entertainment Weekly (C+) Paste  Pitchfork Media  PopMatters  Slant Magazine  Spin  Yahoo! Music 
Colonia is the second studio album by A Camp, the collaborative side project between The Cardigans lead vocalist Nina Persson and her husband, composer Nathan Larson along with producer Niclas Frisk, the founding member of Atomic Swing. The album was released on 28 January 2009 in Scandinavia by Universal and in the U.K. and Mainland Europe by independent British label Reveal Records on February 2 and March 20, respectively, while in the United States the album was released through Nettwerk on 28 April 2009.
"Stronger Than Jesus" was released as the first single from Colonia on 19 January 2009. In Sweden, the song spent eleven weeks on the Sverigetopplistan chart, eventually peaking at #8, making it their most successful single to date in the region. "Love Has Left The Room" was released as the second single in the U.K. and Ireland, while "My America" became the second Swedish single.
Background and production
Following the release of A Camp's self-titled debut album in 2001 and the subsequent tours, Persson returned to her position as front-woman with The Cardigans for the release of Long Gone Before Daylight (2003) and Super Extra Gravity (2005). When the band ceased all promotional activities following a South American festival tour in September 2006, Persson decided to revisit the A Camp project with the view of releasing a new studio album by 2008.
The initial demo sessions were met with frustration, however, when Persson struggled to find the right framework to produce a new A Camp record, with Persson admitting "[the first A Camp album] was like my perfect country record. I didn't want the new album to sound anything like it, because that would have cheapened it. And I didn't want it to sound like a Cardigans album. So it took a long time to figure out what songs should be suitable."
Inspiration came, though, following a safari trip to South Africa in early 2007. "I went there specifically to get away from writing songs, but being among the lions made me think of an old-fashioned empire - and that led to the idea of the decadence of old kings and queens."
The recording of a second A Camp album was officially confirmed by Persson in an interview with Swedish newspaper Dagens Nyheter in May 2007. The interview stated that, mere weeks after recording had started, half a dozen backing tracks were completed and that these were "going to get lyrics about everything from Chinatown in New York to animals in Africa," while the sound of the album was said to be inspired by "girl-pop from the 60's, 80's punk and David Bowie," but Persson made particular mention of Adam Ant, indicating that a cover of his song "Prince Charming" may be included.
The process of recording was undertaken by more that of "a proper band" [in comparison to the first A Camp record], as Persson "realised touring the first A Camp that I hate being thought of as a solo artist. It's too lonely. I've grown up in a band, and I need people around me." Persson, along with Atomic Swing founder Niclas Frisk and Persson's husband, former Shudder To Think guitarist Nathan Larson, constructed the majority of the backing tracks. "I made Nathan audition," Persson once said jokingly in an interview. The core group of musicians was rounded out by Kevin March, who performed drums on the majority of the album, and whom Nathan had worked with previously as a member of Shudder To Think.
Of the duet with cult Swedish singer Nicolai Dunger, Persson has said "I love the idea of duets, but too many are simple love songs. I don't understand that - you know the singers aren't going to fuck, so it feels fake and cheesy. But I'd thought for a long time my voice would work well with Nicolai."
Among the many notable guest musicians who contributed to the album are Joan Wasser, former Smashing Pumpkins guitarist James Iha and classically trained cello player Jane Scarpantoni, who had previously worked with artists such as Bruce Springsteen, Patti Smith, Sheryl Crow, R.E.M., Lou Reed and 10,000 Maniacs. Sparklehorse's Mark Linkous, who produced the majority of the first A Camp record, makes an appearance on slide guitar on album closer "The Weed Had Got There First." When asked why he wasn't at the helm of this record also, Persson replied, "because he didn't need to. Once the songs finally came, we wanted to get going. I love Mark, but obviously he's a busy man. And with the three of us producing, it helps send out the message: A Camp is now a band. A fucking great one too."
All songs written and composed by Niclas Frisk, Nina Persson and Nathan Larson.
No. Title Length 1. "The Crowning" 3:45 2. "Stronger Than Jesus" 3:05 3. "Bear on the Beach" 4:11 4. "Love Has Left the Room" 3:39 5. "Golden Teeth and Silver Medals" (Duet with Nicolai Dunger) 4:41 6. "Here Are Many Wild Animals" 3:53 7. "Chinatown" 4:43 8. "My America" 3:12 9. "Eau De Colonia" 0:29 10. "I Signed the Line" 2:57 11. "It's Not Easy To Be Human" 2:35 12. "The Weed Had Got There First" 6:39Total length: 43:39
Charts (2009) Peak
Sweden (Sverigetopplistan) 2 United Kingdom (OCC) 114 U.K. Independent Albums 10 U.S. Billboard Heatseekers 22
Region Provider Certification Shipment(s) Sweden IFPI Sweden Gold 20,000+
Year Single Chart Position 2009 "Stronger Than Jesus" Sweden (Sverigetopplistan) 8 United Kingdom (OCC) 204
Region Date Label Format Catalog Scandinavia January 28, 2009 Universal CD 0-6025-17918-7-7 Ireland January 30, 2009 Reveal Records CD/LP Reveal50CD/LP United Kingdom February 2, 2009 Mainland Europe March 20, 2009 United States April 28, 2009 Nettwerk CD 0-6700-30838-2-9
- Nina Persson — vocals, piano, toy piano and drum loops
- Nathan Larson — electric, acoustic and bass guitars, keyboards, synthesizers, drum loops, backing vocals and additional mixing
- Niclas Frisk — electric and acoustic guitars, piano, organ, drum loops and backing vocals
- Kevin March — drums and percussion
- Additional Personnel
- Nicolai Dunger — vocals on "Golden Teeth and Silver Medals"
- Mark Linkous — slide guitar on "The Weed Had Got There First"
- James Iha — electric guitars
- Joan Wasser — violin and viola
- Jane Scarpantoni — cello
- Cat Martino — backing vocals and casiotone
- Anna Ternheim — backing vocals
- Jon Natchez — horns and woodwinds
- Kelly Pratt — horns and woodwinds
- Technical Personnel
- Geoff Sanoff — recording
- Al Weatherhead — mixing
- Fred Kevorkian — mastering
- Design Personnel
- Åbäke - artwork and Design
- ^ Allmusic review
- ^ The A.V. Club review
- ^ BBC Music review
- ^ Entertainment Weekly review
- ^ Paste review
- ^ Pitchfork Media review
- ^ PopMatters review
- ^ Slant Magazine review
- ^ Spin review
- ^ Yahoo! Music review
- ^ a b "Artist Website". http://www.acamp.net/. Acamp.net. Retrieved 2011-03-11.
- ^ a b "Official Swedish Singles Chart" aCharts.us. Retrieved 2009-03-08.
- ^ "My America" Swedish 1-track digital single iTunes.com. Retrieved 2010-05-21.
- ^ Guha, Robin (March 17, 2009). "Nina Persson - Queen of Camp - BlackBook Interview". BlackBook. http://www.blackbookmag.com/article/nina-persson-queen-of-the-camp/6776. Retrieved March 11, 2011.
- ^ a b c d e f "Planet Sound - Persson sets up Camp again". http://www.cardigans.com/?sid=forum&pid=thread&id=118155.
- ^ a b "The Cardigans - Nina Persson breathes new life into A Camp". http://www.cardigans.com/?sid=article&pid=read&id=7011.
- ^ "Official Swedish Album Chart", SverigeTopplistan.se, February 12, 2009.
- ^ Chart Log UK - 2009 Zobbel.de
- ^ Top 30 Independent Label Albums, BBC.co.uk, February 09, 2009.
- ^ http://www.billboard.com/#/artist/a-camp/chart-history/467436?f=324&g=Albums
- ^ "IFPI 2009 certifications". IFPI. http://www.ifpi.se/wp/wp-content/uploads/Guld-Platina-2009.pdf. Retrieved 2011-08-29.
- "Stronger Than Jesus"
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.
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