Before Labrador, there was Stockholm Records, a Swedish indie set up in 1992 and now a part of the Universal Music Group. And before Club 8, there were The Cardigans, stitching their twee mark on the hearts of britpop fans in search of high quality continental imports. Debut album Emmerdale wasn’t originally released outside Sweden, but the better part of it found its way onto the various international versions of 1995’s follow-up Life, still very much the swingful kitsch jazzy delight 18 years after its release.
Having discoed their way into the top 10 when Lovefool appeared in Baz Luhrmans’s Romeo + Juliet, the band moved into more straightforward guitar territory for Gran Turismo, their first number one album in Sweden, and only top 10 album in the UK. Two more albums followed (two more Swedish chart topping albums), by the harsh end of which, on tracks like Godspell and I need some wine and you, you need to be nicer, the innocence of Carnival was all but a memory.