First Aid Kit

Stay Gold

Written by: HES on 01/09/2014 20:14:30

"Nature’s first green is gold,

Her hardest hue to hold.

Her early leaf’s a flower;

But only so an hour."

So goes Pulitzer-winning poet Robert Frost's poem "Nothing Gold Can Stay" after which First Aid Kit has named the follow-up album "Stay Gold" to their second and massively successful "The Lion's Roar". The literary reference beckons the question: Has First Aid Kit lost their initial gleam or is there still spark to the Swedish 70's inspired sister-act? Sticking to their guns, "Nothing Can Stay Gold" is still clearly Fleet Foxes-inspired, 70's folk with that Swedish perfection in melodic craftsmanship - still growing one tad more dark than their last release; lyrically the universe is close to Frost's gloom. The lyrics of "The Bell" goes "From the rust that lies deep in its throat. I hear solemn monotone notes. The danger, the ebbs, and the flows. In the silence of night it lets me know. That I'm not coming home" - a narrative that has to be sold as "wise beyond their years" for both sisters born in the 90's. Both voices have luckily grown ever more mature, fuller and more assertive, otherwise the lyrical universe would have been hollowed out by questions of authenticity. But against all odds the grittiness of the girls' usual well-harmonised pop-vocals sells the story of the old souls that must be living in these young women.

The gloom is momentarily lifted by musical guest appearances in form of flutes, violins, tambourines and other instruments in the brighter end of the tonal scale. However, the overall tone of the album remains melancholic in spite of the addition of an orchestra. Whereas the band formerly subscribed to a dogma of not adding instruments that could not be brought to a live show, this album could not have survived with it’s lazy depression without those uplifting notes. Another great break from the otherwise very dogmatic song-writing is the country-inspired “Heaven Knows” where the girls even attempt a bit of yelling in the bridge. These small breaks from the pretty but boring thing folk-rock has become to many will eventually lead to this album sticking out of a river of many dead fish following the stream. First Aid Kit manages something that very few in this genre does: To have a distinctive sound. The days of merely sounding like Fleet Foxes are long gone as the tone of 70’s flutes and waltzing rhythm-sections place First Aid Kit right in an unexplored part of the genre almost avoiding the generic sound that usually comes with the genre.


Download: My Silver Lining, Master Pretender, Fleeting One, The Bell
For The Fans Of: Fleet Foxes, The Head And The Heart, Samantha Crain

Release date 06.06.2014
Columbia Records

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