A Camp (Reveal)

Released in 2001, A Camp’s self-titled debut album didn’t kill The Cardigans, exactly, but it did prove that singer Nina Persson didn’t need her bandmates to thrive.

Arriving in the middle of a downward creative spiral that the group have now been fighting for a decade, A Camp was a lovely record, a rich collection of continental pop-soul with one foot in the ’60s and the other in the 21st century.

Eight years later, a follow-up has arrived.

And despite the long gap, a follow-up it is in the purest sense of the phrase.

Colonia expands on the musical themes first heard on its predecessor, chief among them being the old chestnut that you can’t beat a good tune.

Tracks such as The Crowning and Love Has Left The Room are built on naggingly familiar, infuriatingly catchy melodies.

Even if you don’t get Persson’s surprisingly flowery lyrics immediately, you’ll remember the tunes.

Occasionally, it’s too eager to impress. The worst offender is Stronger Than Jesus, a pleasant but really rather slight slice of sing-song whimsy that goes nowhere.

But for the most part, Colonia’s blend of melancholy and sunshine is a delightful panacea to the winter blues. WILL FULFORD-JONES