First Aid Kit

The Lion's Roar

Written by: IT on 20/02/2012 17:18:34

While not having any experience of writing album reviews, I can assure you I have some kind of experience in listening to sweet tunes of the singer/songwriter folk-influenced genre, in which the two beautiful Swedish sisters Johanna (b. 1990) and Klara (b. 1993) Söderberg, with their band First Aid Kit, are represented. Since the demo tape of their home-recorded "Tangerine" in 2007 and the release of their debut EP “Drunken Trees “ in 2008, the duo has released two albums, “The Big Black & The Blue” in 2010, and now their second and latest album, “The Lions Roar”, in 2012, produced by Mike Mogis.

Taking influence from the Fleet Foxes and Joanna Newsom, the seventies-inspired, acoustic folk ballads - all nimble finger-picking and watertight harmonies - in the sisters' first album, seemed to take many a heart with their heartbroken but empowering melodies of unfaithfulness and despair, and subsequently the new album was critically acclaimed upon release and went straight to #1 in Sweden on the week of release and #35 in the UK.

On their newest album, “The Lions Roar”, the girls seems to have changed their style along with their fascination with more dark and gloomy sounds inspired by Buffy Sainte-Marie and Joni Mitchell. They seem to manage the kind of melancholic sounds that go directly in your heart, making you oxymoronically both optimistic and blue. You might quickly get to misthink the girls for a couple of broken hearts, but there is more to their lyrics than that; beautiful and profound, they not only confirm the emotional state, but also provide strength and understanding of life’s less bright pages.

In a quick listen it is easy to start thinking that the music is too simple or uniform, but listen closely; there are components in every number that make them unique and beautiful. All songs fit together, all tunes are pleasant and all lyrics make you consider the deeper corners of your mind. Their ability to be both intense and uplifting is impressive given the sisters' ages. In the end, First Aid Kid are more of a sibling pair who live to make music and love it down to every single chord. Their sound is perhaps a bit repetitive, but also unique and full of sincere love, which makes it honest and beautiful music.

First Aid Kit is the kind of band - hence the name - that can save you from all kinds of emotional states. They have the power of giving you strength in whatever state you are in, leaving you with a growing desire for the sounds of nature, folk and acoustic instruments.

Download: The Lions Roar, To A Poet, Dance To Another Tune, King Of The World
For the fans of: Agnes Obel, Fleet Foxes, Joanna Newsom, Joni Mitchell
Listen: Facebook

23.01.2012
Wichita Recordings / Jagadamba Records

Guest review written by Iben Gwen Tollan

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