Here’s an item that stylewise falls a bit outside of my ordinary frame. CAMPING WITH PENGUINS was a duo project consisting of two Swedes: MATS BJÖRE (keys, drum programming, tape & radio effects) and MIJA FOLKESSON (vocals, keyboards, guitar, percussion, drum programming). The style here is quite soft, suggestive pop with some new age elements, but also a few songs where some soul or westcoast vibes can be found.
Stylewise it is hard to bring similar artists. Some songs could easily have fit earlt SADE albums, like “Spider” and “Song for M”. Swedish girl REGINA LUND released an album much later, in 1997, called “Unique”. Some of her songs are actually quite close to what CAMPING WITH PENGUINS sounded like. Slightly quirky but very melodic pop.
However, especially in the beginning of the album there are a few songs with souly westcoast chords in the arrangements. The aforementioned “Song for M” is a fine example and also the really nice “Will you stay”. I should even mention the opener “Big man” which makes me think of early SHERYL CROW in a slightly more pop/synth costume.
In its most obscure moments the CD includes for example the 1 minute long instrumental piece “The texture of her skin”. It’s too odd for my personal taste, but all the other nice songs truly overlap this.
Another thing on the very positive account for C.W.P. is MIJA FOLKESSON’s singing. No wonder she became at least slightly famous in Sweden later on, since she has got a very good voice. Check out her harmony vocals in the lovely soft tune “Harry & Susan”! Phew. Talking about musicians – there ARE some interesting names to be found as additional players on some of the songs. PER LINDVALL plays drums on “Big man” while BJÖRN J:SON LINDH plays flute on “Blue dreams”, for example. Not bad!
This item is semi-rare so in Sweden it should be possible to dig up. Whenever it’s up for grabs on sites it is not very expensive. This is a cool album which was out on both vinyl and CD. (Swedish Diamonds Series, #9)