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Something for the summer: The Cardigans’ Emmerdale

16/07/2010

Summer is halfway through, but there is still some time to chill out in the sun and groove to some lovely music. It’s been such a heatwave summer (at least everywhere else than in this British city) that sometimes it’s been a downright effort to actually get up and go do something active. You’d rather just lie down with a cool drink and chill out. And here’s a soundtrack suggestion for you.

The Cardigans are more known of what they became rather than what they started out as. Their two hit albums First Band on the Moon and Gran Turismo spawned some massive hit singles that are still audible today, while their subsequent post-hiatus slowing down and introduction of more finesse to the sound  made them critical darlings and created the fan favourites that are the favourite albums by the band for many. But before all that, they were quietly taking their nervous steps into the world. Started by metal-loving friends who felt like doing something a bit lighter and more melodic, The Cardigans entered the world with a light-footed frolic and big, big smiles. Emmerdale, the debut,  is only faintly recognisable to be the same band stylistically. It also makes the most wonderful summer soundtrack.

What it is, it’s twee. Emmerdale takes its cue from the classic pop of the sixties and alike and sparkles out loud with happy smiles, sunshiney melodies and adorable cuteness. Soft orchestral flourishes back timeless hooks that sound adorably retro. Nina Persson is far from the ice queen of her later days – she sounds like the cute girl next door whispering quietly to the microphone with a little knowing wink. The melodies twinkle around and the atmosphere is wonderful: there is a lovely sweetness to everything, even the lyrically sadder songs, and the way the music is performed is incredibly charismatic. It merges together both the wonderful 90’s indie sound as well as the timeless quality that has transformed many pop songs into immortal, always-fresh wonders.

Plus how many other times have you heard a cover of Black Sabbath’s “Sabbath Bloody Sabbath” that’s half-twee pop, half-disco and all-wonderful.

The music paints pictures of green sunny fields and relaxed summer days with no care in the world as a cool wind breezes by among the warmth. Emmerdale was created for lazy days in the sun.

MP3: In the Afternoon


Black Letter Day

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