All Songs Considered’s recent review of this year’s CMJ (College Music Journal) came with a lot of awesome surprises – perhaps the best of which is First Aid Kit. First Aid Kit is two Swedish sisters – Klara and Johanna Söderberg – who make lovely, dreamy, and – most of all – exuberant music. From their cover of Fleet Foxes’ “Tiger Mountain Peasant Song” to their original tracks, First Aid Kit’s music has the unusual quality of being both natural and ethereal. The songs range easily from moments of introspection, to raucous, confessional declarations of the soul. In a year that brought us the return of Ace of Base, I think First Aid Kit might be just the hero we were holding out for…
Here’s how the folks at Wichita Recordings describe them:
The songs seep under the skin and claw at you. Surface playfulness is deceiving as the tracks take on a darker hue in places, but both elements work perfectly together to create a trance-like quality. This is very special, indeed. Recorded by the band and their father at “Cellar Door” (their house in Stockholm), with small yet purposeful flashes of drumming from friend Charlie Smoliansky, the sisters wrote all the songs, and also designed all the complementary, sepia-toned artwork.
Trance-like is a particularly apt way to describe the strange alchemy of First Aid Kit’s harmonies. At times, they are like a great, modern folk band – Wailin’ Jennys, perhaps – while at other times, their compositions come across like an Au Revoir Simone unplugged session. In either case, the confidence, and playfulness, of First Aid Kit’s music makes them well worth watching (and listening to!) in the future…
The band have recently wrapped up a tour in support of their first full-length – Big Black & the Blue – and are definitely worth keeping an eye on. For now, you can find them on myspace, YouTube, and their own website. While you’re at it, why not check out this excellent Daytrotter session?
For now, have a look at some of their videos:
Here’s “Ghost Town:”
Here’s “I Met Up With the King:”
And here’s that cover of “Tiger Mountain Peasant Song:”