The Cardigans

Swedish rock band

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The Cardigans
The Cardigans performing in September 2006

The Cardigans performing in September 2006
Background information
Origin Jönköping, Sweden
Genres .mw-parser-output .hlist dl,.mw-parser-output .hlist ol,.mw-parser-output .hlist ul{margin:0;padding:0}.mw-parser-output .hlist dd,.mw-parser-output .hlist dt,.mw-parser-output .hlist li{margin:0;display:inline}.mw-parser-output .hlist.inline,.mw-parser-output .hlist.inline dl,.mw-parser-output .hlist.inline ol,.mw-parser-output .hlist.inline ul,.mw-parser-output .hlist dl dl,.mw-parser-output .hlist dl ol,.mw-parser-output .hlist dl ul,.mw-parser-output .hlist ol dl,.mw-parser-output .hlist ol ol,.mw-parser-output .hlist ol ul,.mw-parser-output .hlist ul dl,.mw-parser-output .hlist ul ol,.mw-parser-output .hlist ul ul{display:inline}.mw-parser-output .hlist .mw-empty-li{display:none}.mw-parser-output .hlist dt::after{content:”: “}.mw-parser-output .hlist dd::after,.mw-parser-output .hlist li::after{content:” · “;font-weight:bold}.mw-parser-output .hlist dd:last-child::after,.mw-parser-output .hlist dt:last-child::after,.mw-parser-output .hlist li:last-child::after{content:none}.mw-parser-output .hlist dd dd:first-child::before,.mw-parser-output .hlist dd dt:first-child::before,.mw-parser-output .hlist dd li:first-child::before,.mw-parser-output .hlist dt dd:first-child::before,.mw-parser-output .hlist dt dt:first-child::before,.mw-parser-output .hlist dt li:first-child::before,.mw-parser-output .hlist li dd:first-child::before,.mw-parser-output .hlist li dt:first-child::before,.mw-parser-output .hlist li li:first-child::before{content:” (“;font-weight:normal}.mw-parser-output .hlist dd dd:last-child::after,.mw-parser-output .hlist dd dt:last-child::after,.mw-parser-output .hlist dd li:last-child::after,.mw-parser-output .hlist dt dd:last-child::after,.mw-parser-output .hlist dt dt:last-child::after,.mw-parser-output .hlist dt li:last-child::after,.mw-parser-output .hlist li dd:last-child::after,.mw-parser-output .hlist li dt:last-child::after,.mw-parser-output .hlist li li:last-child::after{content:”)”;font-weight:normal}.mw-parser-output .hlist ol{counter-reset:listitem}.mw-parser-output .hlist ol>li{counter-increment:listitem}.mw-parser-output .hlist ol>li::before{content:” “counter(listitem)”a0 “}.mw-parser-output .hlist dd ol>li:first-child::before,.mw-parser-output .hlist dt ol>li:first-child::before,.mw-parser-output .hlist li ol>li:first-child::before{content:” (“counter(listitem)”a0 “}

Years active 1992–2006, 2012–present
Labels MCA, Mercury, Minty Fresh, Stockholm, Universal
Members Lars-Olof Johansson
Bengt Lagerberg
Nina Persson
Magnus Sveningsson
Past members Peter Svensson

The Cardigans are a Swedish pop rock band formed in Jönköping, Sweden, in 1992[2] by guitarist Peter Svensson, bassist Magnus Sveningsson, drummer Bengt Lagerberg, keyboardist Lars-Olof Johansson and lead singer Nina Persson. Post-hiatus shows since 2012 have been with Oskar Humlebo on guitar instead of Svensson.[3]

With their debut album Emmerdale (1994) they gained a solid base in their home country and enjoyed some success abroad, especially in Japan. Their second album Life (1995) secured them an international reputation. Their popularity rose when their single “Lovefool“, from the album First Band on the Moon (1996), was included in the soundtrack to the 1996 film Romeo + Juliet.[2] Other singles included “Erase/Rewind” and “My Favourite Game” from the album Gran Turismo (1998). After a two-year hiatus the band returned to recording, and released their fifth album Long Gone Before Daylight (2003), a mellower country-flavoured record. Their latest album, as of March 2024, is Super Extra Gravity (2005). After a 2006 tour, the band took a five-year break from musical activities before reuniting in 2012 to play several concerts. They have sold over 15 million albums worldwide.


First years: 1992–1994[edit]

Peter Svensson and Magnus Sveningsson, both heavy metal musicians, formed the group on 31 October 1992 in Jönköping, Sweden, with drummer Bengt Lagerberg, keyboardist Lars-Olof Johansson and lead singer Nina Persson.[4] Persson did not want to be a musician growing up, having an interest in art instead, which resulted in her attending art school. “I never really strived to be a musician; I was just, sort of, recruited into this band. I was bored out of my mind in this small, safe place (Jönköping). I was like, ‘Awesome, I get to hang with fun guys.’”[5]

Living together in a small apartment, The Cardigans recorded a demo tape with Persson providing lead vocals on only one of the songs towards the end of the track list. A&R man Ola Hermanson heard the demo and signed the band to his Trampolene imprint. They released their debut album Emmerdale in Sweden and Japan in 1994; it was re-released internationally in 1997. The album included the Swedish radio hit “Rise & Shine”, which was later voted the best of 1994 in a poll in Slitz magazine.

Commercial success: 1995–2000[edit]

The remainder of 1994 was spent touring Europe and recording Life, which was released worldwide in 1995. Life became an international success, selling more than a million copies and achieving platinum status in Japan. In 1996, Life was released under the label Minty Fresh in the US, but this release was essentially a compilation of tracks from Emmerdale and Life.

After their success with Life, The Cardigans signed with Mercury Records, under which they released First Band on the Moon worldwide in 1996. “Lovefool” was a hit worldwide, particularly in the US and Japan, where the album reached platinum status in three weeks. The album also achieved gold sales status in the US. “Lovefool” was shown on MTV in the late 1990s as a music video with clips from the 1996 hit film Romeo + Juliet starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Claire Danes. It was also featured in the film Cruel Intentions (1999).

In 1997, the band played themselves in an episode of Beverly Hills, 90210 as the featured entertainment at their college graduation party, hosted by Kelly Taylor‘s dad. The band performed “Lovefool” and “Been It.” Their song “Carnival” was featured in the 1997 film Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery. The band was also asked to submit the theme song for the James Bond film Tomorrow Never Dies but rejected the request due to exhaustion that would be exacerbated by the potential added workload; Persson has called her decision to turn down the offer “one of my biggest mistakes.”[6]

1998’s Gran Turismo was followed by a long hiatus during which the band members pursued solo side projects. The same year they also released a compilation album of rare B-sides, The Other Side of the Moon as a Japan-only release. The video of the song “My Favourite Game” was censored by MTV for showing reckless driving. Despite this, it went on to become their second global hit song. “My Favourite Game” was featured on the soundtrack of the PlayStation video game Gran Turismo 2 in the intro movie on CD1. That year also saw their song “Deuce” appearing on The X-Files: The Album. Their song “Erase/Rewind” was featured in the 1999 films Never Been Kissed and The Thirteenth Floor. In 2018, German author Thorsten Nagelschmidt published a booked titled Der Abfall der Herzen, a reference to the band’s song “Junk of the Hearts” featured on Gran Turismo.

In 1999, the Cardigans recorded a duet cover of Talking Heads‘ “Burning Down the House” with Tom Jones for his album Reload.[2]

Back to spotlight and hiatus: 2002–2006[edit]

The Cardigans performing in June 2004.

The Cardigans returned in 2002 to record Long Gone Before Daylight (2003), a collection of songs mainly written by Persson and Svensson. Long Gone Before Daylight became one of the best selling albums in Sweden in 2003.[citation needed] After a two-year hiatus from their last album, it was released in Japan on 19 March 2003 and in Europe on 24 March 2003. Later it was also released in Canada (22 April 2003) and the United States (25 May 2004).

The album differs from the band’s earlier works. Their familiar “happy” pop sound takes on a change to pop songs with more of an American country music influence. It is a much darker album than their previous works, and quieter than Gran Turismo. Indeed, even lead singer Nina Persson dyed her once light blonde hair to jet black, reflecting the band’s change of mood.[7] The album was produced by Per Sunding after the group’s regular producer Tore Johanssen stepped down, feeling himself unable to provide the country sound the group wanted.

Criticism was generally mixed. Some found the change of direction welcome, and felt the band had matured, making songs that were even better than other experienced country-pop styled artists. Others missed the old pop sound, and accused the band of possibly being ashamed of their former “happy” pop sound. The first single of the album, “For What It’s Worth” was released on 17 February 2003. The second single was “You’re the Storm” released on 2 June 2003. The third and final single was “Live and Learn” released on 3 December 2003. In the summer of 2004, The Cardigans toured with Liz Phair, Katy Rose and Charlotte Martin on the Chicks With Attitude tour.

On 28 April 2005, the band’s iTunes Originals album was released through iTunes. On 19 October 2005, the band released their sixth album Super Extra Gravity to generally favourable reviews.[8] Super Extra Gravity went straight to the #1 spot on the Swedish album chart and was certified gold (sales over 40,000).[citation needed] After the band finished promotional activities in Autumn 2006, the band entered an extended hiatus and devoted themselves to other projects.[citation needed]

Reunion, tour and future: 2012–present[edit]

In 2012, the Cardigans received a lucrative offer from Hultsfred Festival to perform the album Gran Turismo in full.[9] After initial hesitation, the band decided to accept the offer “as it felt like a good way of tearing us out of our strange new everyday life,” according to Persson.[10] Peter Svensson declined to participate, although he had no objection to the band touring without him. They recruited singer-songwriter Oskar Humlebo to fill in for Svensson, and asked their agent to seek more shows for them to play.[9] Ultimately, the band made their live comeback with shows in Lund and Copenhagen ahead of Hultsfred, before playing in Poland, Finland, Russia, Indonesia, Taiwan and Japan, with a scheduled concert in Israel cancelled by the promoter.[11] Most of these shows involved performing Gran Turismo in full, followed by an assortment of hits from their other albums.

Still with Humlebo in place of Svensson, the band played career-spanning sets when touring resumed during late 2013 with shows in Japan, China and Russia, followed by more dates in 2015 which took them to South Korea, Europe and South America. In interviews promoting her 2014 solo album Animal Heart, Persson suggested that the success of their most recent live dates opened the possibility for future Cardigans recordings, though there were no firm plans. “It’s really fun to do greatest hits things, since there’s nothing else, but I think if we continue having this much fun we would like to make another record, because we like to create new things,” said Persson.[12] The band’s only scheduled show for 2016 was at Qstock (Oulu, Finland) on 29 July.[13] In 2017, they performed in Stockholm in Turku, Finland and in Yammatovo 3 festival in Croatia.

In June 2018, the band announced their only live shows of the year: a four-date UK tour in December to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Gran Turismo in which they would perform the album in full again.[14] In an interview to promote the tour, Persson stated, “There won’t be any more Cardigans records, I’m pretty sure. But we’ll keep doing little tours and shows as long as it’s fun, as long as we can do it well and feel that it’s something that’s current to us.”[15]

In May 2023, Nina Persson confirmed Peter Svensson would never rejoin the band, and that as a result there would be no new Cardigans albums. The idea of making new music without Svensson was overruled too.[16] The band keeps on touring sporadically.[17]

Solo projects[edit]

During the band’s first break Nina Persson released an album as A Camp, and Peter Svensson and Bengt Lagerberg worked on the project Paus with help from Joakim Berg from Kent, and Magnus Sveningsson recorded as Righteous Boy.

In 2006, Sveningsson restarted their old label Trampolene and became an A&R for it. The first signing was the Swedish popband The Animal Five, which was a minor success in Sweden and Germany.

Lagerberg and Johansson formed the group Brothers Of End, releasing a debut album The End in 2009, and a second album Mount Inside in 2011. A third album, Shakers Love, was released in 2014, and Nina Persson appeared on the track “Heat”.

In November 2006, Persson featured on The Cake Sale, an album set up by Oxfam Ireland. It contained nine tracks from some of Ireland’s leading artists. Proceeds from the album went to the fair trade campaign.

Persson also appeared on the Manic Street Preachers‘ album Send Away the Tigers (May 2007), providing guest vocals on the UK Chart #2 single “Your Love Alone Is Not Enough”.[18] She shared vocals with Manics frontman James Dean Bradfield, who also appeared on stage with the band at the Glastonbury Festival 2007, and who has rated Peter Svensson as his second favourite guitarist.[19]

In the band’s break of 2007, Persson recorded the second A Camp album Colonia,[20] which was released in early 2009. A Camp supported the US release of Colonia with a tour, which began in New York City on 26 May and completed on 15 June in Los Angeles.[21][22]

In 2010, Persson appeared on Danger Mouse & Sparklehorse’s collaboration (Dark Night of the Soul) singing “Daddy’s Gone” (with Mark Linkous).[23]

Persson released the album Animal Heart under her own name in 2014.

Band members[edit]

Current members

Current touring members

  • Oskar Humlebo – lead guitar (2012–present)

Former members



Awards and nominations[edit]

BMI Pop Awards
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Year Nominee / work Award Result
1999 Lovefool Award-Winning Song Won

Billboard Music Awards

Year Nominee / work Award Result
1997 Lovefool Top Hot 100 Airplay Track Nominated

Billboard Music Video Awards

Year Nominee / work Award Result
1997 Lovefool Pop/Rock Clip of the Year Nominated

Brit Awards

Year Nominee / work Award Result
2000 Themselves Best International Group Nominated

Danish Music Awards

Year Nominee / work Award Result
2000 Gran Turismo Foreign Album of the Year Won

Denmark GAFFA Awards

Year Nominee / work Award Result Ref.
1998 My Favorite Game Best Foreign Video Nominated [25]
Best Foreign Hit Nominated
1999 Burning Down the House(with Tom Jones) Nominated
2005 Nina Persson Best Foreign Female Act Nominated


Year Nominee / work Award Result
1995 Themselves Best Pop Group Nominated
1997 Won
Best Artist Nominated
First Band on the Moon Best Album
Lovefool Best Song
1999 Themselves Best Pop Group Won
Best Artist Nominated
Gran Turismo Best Album Won
My Favorite Game Best Song Nominated
Best Music Video
2004 Long Gone Before Daylight Best Album Won
Themselves Best Rock Group
2006 Nominated

MTV Europe Music Awards

Year Nominee / work Award Result
1996 Themselves Best New Act Nominated
1997 Lovefool Best Song
1999 Themselves Best Group
Best Rock
Best Nordic Act


Year Nominee / work Award Result
1998 Themselves Best Swedish Band Won

Smash Hits Poll Winners Party

Year Nominee / work Award Result Ref.
1996 Themselves Best International Band Nominated [26]

TMF Awards

Year Nominee / work Award Result
1999 My Favorite Game Best Video International Won

Žebřík Music Awards

Year Nominee / work Award Result Ref.
1998 My Favorite Game Best International Video Nominated [27]

See also[edit]


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  1. ^ a b The Cardigans at AllMusic Edit this at Wikidata
  2. ^ a b c .mw-parser-output cite.citation{font-style:inherit;word-wrap:break-word}.mw-parser-output .citation q{quotes:”””””””‘””‘”}.mw-parser-output .citation:target{background-color:rgba(0,127,255,0.133)}.mw-parser-output a{background:url(“//”)right 0.1em center/9px no-repeat}body:not(.skin-timeless):not(.skin-minerva) .mw-parser-output .id-lock-free a{background-size:contain}.mw-parser-output a,.mw-parser-output a{background:url(“//”)right 0.1em center/9px no-repeat}body:not(.skin-timeless):not(.skin-minerva) .mw-parser-output .id-lock-limited a,body:not(.skin-timeless):not(.skin-minerva) .mw-parser-output .id-lock-registration a{background-size:contain}.mw-parser-output a{background:url(“//”)right 0.1em center/9px no-repeat}body:not(.skin-timeless):not(.skin-minerva) .mw-parser-output .id-lock-subscription a{background-size:contain}.mw-parser-output .cs1-ws-icon a{background:url(“//”)right 0.1em center/12px no-repeat}body:not(.skin-timeless):not(.skin-minerva) .mw-parser-output .cs1-ws-icon a{background-size:contain}.mw-parser-output .cs1-code{color:inherit;background:inherit;border:none;padding:inherit}.mw-parser-output .cs1-hidden-error{display:none;color:#d33}.mw-parser-output .cs1-visible-error{color:#d33}.mw-parser-output .cs1-maint{display:none;color:#2C882D;margin-left:0.3em}.mw-parser-output .cs1-format{font-size:95%}.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-left{padding-left:0.2em}.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-right{padding-right:0.2em}.mw-parser-output .citation .mw-selflink{font-weight:inherit} .mw-parser-output .cs1-maint{color:#18911F} .mw-parser-output .cs1-visible-error, .mw-parser-output .cs1-hidden-error{color:#f8a397}@media(prefers-color-scheme:dark){ .mw-parser-output .cs1-visible-error, .mw-parser-output .cs1-hidden-error{color:#f8a397} .mw-parser-output .cs1-maint{color:#18911F}}Strong, Martin C. (2000). The Great Rock Discography (5th ed.). Edinburgh: Mojo Books. pp. 152–153. ISBN 1-84195-017-3.
  3. ^ Simpson, Dave (4 December 2018). “The Cardigans review – at their best when playing the lovefool”. The Guardian. Retrieved 5 December 2018.
  4. ^ Sveningsson, Magnus. “The Cardigans official website: Ask the Band”. Retrieved 1 November 2007.
  5. ^ “The Cardigans Nina Persson talks w Eric Blair 2014” blairingoutshow, YouTube, 14 November 2015
  6. ^ Ryan, Gary (1 December 2018). “Does Rock ‘N’ Roll Kill Braincells? We put The Cardigans’ Nina Persson to the test”. NME. Retrieved 5 December 2018.
  7. ^ Amelia McDonell-Parry. “Long Gone Before Daylight : The Cardigans : Review”, Rolling Stone, 24 July 2004.
  8. ^ “The Cardigans: Super Extra Gravity (2006): Reviews”. Metacritic. 19 September 2006. Retrieved 22 August 2012.
  9. ^ a b “Interview: Magnus Sveningsson, The Cardigans”. Retrieved 29 December 2016.
  10. ^ Helienne Lindvall. “Nina Persson: knitting the Cardigans back together”. The Guardian. Retrieved 29 December 2016.
  11. ^ “Cardigans – MAYDAY MAYDAY! The Tel Aviv show on august 4…” 18 July 2012. Archived from the original on 26 February 2022. Retrieved 29 December 2016 – via Facebook.
  12. ^ Andrew Hampp. “Nina Persson Talks ‘Animal Heart’ Solo LP, The Cardigans’ Future”. Billboard. Retrieved 29 December 2016.
  13. ^ “Qstock 2016 Oulu Line-up, Photos & Videos Jul 2016 – Songkick”. 29 July 2016. Retrieved 29 December 2016.
  14. ^ Trendell, Andrew (19 June 2018). “The Cardigans announce 20th anniversary UK tour for ‘Gran Turismo’. NME. Retrieved 5 December 2018.
  15. ^ Wyatt, Malcolm (23 November 2018). “The Cardigans: from indie roots to Gran Turismo and beyond – the Nina Persson interview”. Retrieved 5 December 2018.
  16. ^ “Hela The Cardigans kommer aldrig att återförenas”. Sydsvenskan. 23 May 2023. Retrieved 17 August 2023.
  17. ^ “Search for setlists : The Cardigans”. 17 August 2023. Retrieved 17 August 2023.
  18. ^ “Albums : Send Away The Tigers (2007)”. Retrieved 22 August 2012.
  19. ^ “Manic Street Preachers – The official site”. Archived from the original on 10 April 2006.
  20. ^ “The Cardigans – Nina Persson breathes new life into A Camp”. 9 May 2007. Retrieved 22 August 2012.
  21. ^ “A Camp announce very first US tour”. NME. 13 March 2009. Retrieved 25 April 2014.
  22. ^ “Nina Persson: Queen of Camp – BlackBook”. Archived from the original on 23 March 2009.
  23. ^ “Danger Mouse on Mark Linkous and Dark Night of the Soul”. The Guardian. 7 July 2010. Retrieved 25 April 2014.
  24. ^ “The Cardigans – the Vogue”. The Vogue. Retrieved 22 February 2024.
  25. ^ “GAFFA-prisen 1991–2006 – se vinderne” [GAFFA Prize 1991–2006 – see the winners]. Gaffa (in Danish). 6 January 2007. Archived from the original on 22 March 2012. Retrieved 5 May 2020.
  26. ^ “Smash Hits Poll Winners – 1996”. Archived from the original on 27 February 2021. Retrieved 5 May 2020.
  27. ^ “2003-1997 – Anketa Žebřík”.

External links[edit]

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