Discoveries: First Aid Kit – Sweden
With Folk music being the go-to style this year it doesn’t surprise me to see more bands and duos trying to make it work. Some add a little twist to the formula to make it stand out but often, things like that kind of fall short. This year, we enjoyed – immensely, I might add – the sister team of Lily & Madeleine. And I wasn’t alone as man of you enjoyed the music found on the girls’ two album releases. There were others such as The Smoke Fairies from the UK.
Recently, I came across another sister duo involved in the folk genre with a country twist, however slight, named First Aid Kit. The sisters, Johanna and Klara Söderberg, are from Enskede, Sweden, a town near Stockholm. They are 17, and 20, respectively but seem to have a firm, firm grasp on the music they create. The most amazing thing about them is their uncanny ability to sound like the introspective girl-fronted bands from the ’60s. At times, you’ll even swear you’re listening to Skeeter Davis, maybe with a mix of Delores O’Riordan (The Cranberries). Their harmonies are hauntingly beautiful. But at other times, you know you’re listening to new talent.
Yes, there are some similarities to Lily & Madeleine but that’s really an unavoidable thing as the two duos share the same kind of style. Besides, these girls were first having released their first (and massive with 8 songs) EP (Drunken Trees) of music back in 2008. Since, they have released two full-length albums, The Big Black And The Blue (2010), and The Lion’s Roar, released in January of 2012. Both albums have scored well with critics, and consistently go home with a growing fan-base.
The first album is a rich experience, with their harmonies having been worked upon, and their song-craft evident. But maturity and time under their belts delivered a stronger set that starts with the infectious title track, a pre-release single issue, and moves into another one of the album’s singles, the sweet sounding “Emmylou” (see video below). The album provided four singles (“The Lion’s Roar”, “Emmylou”, “Blue”, “Wolf”). The last song on The Lion’s Roar is “King Of the World”. It has guest vocals and sound completely like an offering from ’60s radio!
Last year, when The Lion’s Roar was released, I was made aware of the album. I should have paid better attention.