Preview: First Aid Kit
- Henry Northmore
- 8 January 2015
If your heart can stand it, other worldly sister act are touring their soulful folk tunes now
As teenagers in their native Stockholm, Swedish sisters Johanna and Klara Söderberg, discovered the Americana music of Gram Parsons, Bright Eyes and Fleet Foxes. It was their cover of the latter’s ‘Tiger Mountain Peasant Song’ in 2008 that brought them to the wider attention of the music world when the band posted it on YouTube. They followed it up with their debut album The Big Black & The Blue (2010) and support slots with Patti Smith, Jack White and their aforementioned heroes, Bright Eyes.
‘We were big fans of Conor Oberst [of Bright Eyes] for a really long time,’ says Johanna. ‘“Lua” was one of the first songs Klara ever learned on guitar. So when he played with Monsters of Folk in Sweden, we got to go backstage and gave Conor our first record. A year later we played in Austin and he came to our show and said he loved it, and we met [Bright Eyes / Monsters of Folk multi-instrumentalist / producer] Mike Mogis, and we asked if he wanted to produce our next record.’
2012’s The Lion’s Roar was a beguiling mix of Nordic folk, Scandinavian myths and country music with Mogis at the producer's helm honing their eclectic influences. 'Emmylou' was named as one of the singles of the year by Rolling Stone and First Aid Kit went onto work with Oberst, on his solo album, and Jenny Lewis. Third album Stay Gold widens their scope adding a layer of strings from the Omaha Symphony Orchestra. It’s bigger, lusher and more expansive, boasting a richer depth of sound to their indie folk leanings. There’s a yearning soulfulness that adds an air of authenticity to their country laments. ‘On our other records, we wrote a lot about nature and fairytale-ish stuff,' explains Johanna ‘But if you listen to the lyrics on this one, you can tell it's much more about us, more personal.’
Usher Hall, Edinburgh, Mon 19 Jan.