Posted by: on August 13, 2008 at 11:00 am

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The Cardigans, “Carnival” (Minty Fresh, 1995)

Before there was a Duffy, we had the Cardigans Nina Persson — blond, beautiful, and equipped with a lilting voice that, come the mid-90s, had no problem cooing it’s way onto radio stations across the globe. The band may have hit it big with the joyfully intoxicated “Love Fool” from 1996′s First Band On The Moon, but “Carnival” — from 1995′s Life — is really where it’s at. Propelled by a sort of Smiths-gone-disco jangle, the video for “Carnival” is as kitschy and fun as the circus organ and strings that move the song along, and it smartly puts Persson, decked out in her best Breakfast At Tiffany’s garb, right up front. The vintage film grain aids the clip’s authenticity, and if we were the betting kind (which we are), we’d wager that the suits who cooked up Duffy’s look and sound had Persson in mind when they went label shopping. — Ryan Allen

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Posted by: on August 4, 2008 at 9:00 am

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Duffy, “Warwick Avenue” (Universal, 2007)

It seems that the hype-machine for Rockferry, Duffy’s 2007 debut, is cranking up to cruising speed here in the states — check the recent cover of SPIN Magazine for proof. And really, who hasn’t been waiting for a Welsh, blonde, not F’d up version of Amy Winehouse? That said, just like Amy, Duffy can actually sing, as she proves with the sweet Dusty melancholy of “Warwick Avenue.” Note to Duffy: don’t go crazy. — Johnny Loftus

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