10 Songs, 38 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

This Swedish duo of sisters Johanna and Klara Soderberg play a sleek, pretty version of Americana that can only be achieved by outsiders who learn the music from the outside-in. Their harmonies are fresh and not always what one might expect from the Americana genre. Neither is the production, which is again handled by Bright Eyes’ Mike Mogis; songs like “Master Pretender” and “Cedar Lane” have gorgeous orchestration. The duo’s Fleet Foxes influence can still be heard, but the sisters veer closer to Handsome Family–styled Southwestern music on the mystical title track and the album opener, “My Silver Lining.” There’s also a Southern-style Bobbie Gentry/Jeannie C. Riley undercurrent; it's truly odd and fascinating coming from these young Swedes. “Shattered & Hollow” slows the tempo for the harmonies to shine even further. “The Bell” adds more bucolic instrumentation, which is enhanced by Mogis’ spacious production. “Waitress Song” imagines giving everything up to live in a small town and work in the food industry—as if these young women could ever turn away from the music they clearly love. 

EDITORS’ NOTES

This Swedish duo of sisters Johanna and Klara Soderberg play a sleek, pretty version of Americana that can only be achieved by outsiders who learn the music from the outside-in. Their harmonies are fresh and not always what one might expect from the Americana genre. Neither is the production, which is again handled by Bright Eyes’ Mike Mogis; songs like “Master Pretender” and “Cedar Lane” have gorgeous orchestration. The duo’s Fleet Foxes influence can still be heard, but the sisters veer closer to Handsome Family–styled Southwestern music on the mystical title track and the album opener, “My Silver Lining.” There’s also a Southern-style Bobbie Gentry/Jeannie C. Riley undercurrent; it's truly odd and fascinating coming from these young Swedes. “Shattered & Hollow” slows the tempo for the harmonies to shine even further. “The Bell” adds more bucolic instrumentation, which is enhanced by Mogis’ spacious production. “Waitress Song” imagines giving everything up to live in a small town and work in the food industry—as if these young women could ever turn away from the music they clearly love. 

TITLE TIME
3:35
3:47
4:11
4:43
4:04
3:28
4:04
3:14
3:18
4:01

About First Aid Kit

First Aid Kit are a Swedish duo comprising sisters Johanna and Klara Söderberg, whose vocal harmonies and woodsy, folk-influenced songwriting take influence from the likes of Fleet Foxes and Joanna Newsom. Hailing from suburban Enskede, the siblings began composing songs as young teenagers in 2007. The home-recorded "Tangerine" enjoyed airplay on Swedish radio later that summer, and the debut EP Drunken Trees helped expand the girls' audience upon its release in April 2008. The London-based Wichita Records reissued Drunken Trees one year later, bolstering its track list with a reverent Fleet Foxes cover and three additional songs performed live in a Swedish forest.

The duo then set to work on a full-length album, balancing schoolwork with the recording sessions. The Big Black & the Blue was released in 2010, and was followed by a request from Jack White to record a single at his Third Man Studios, which resulted in their cover of Buffy Sainte-Marie's "Universal Soldier." They struck up a friendship with Conor Oberst and appeared live with Bright Eyes on tour, before they entered the studio with the band's guitarist Mike Mogis for The Lion's Roar, which arrived in early 2012. The lead single "Emmylou" was listed by Rolling Stone as the tenth best single of the year, and the LP debuted at number one in Sweden. It also charted in several other countries, including the U.S., where it reached number 65 on the Billboard 200 and the Top Five of the Americana/folk chart.

The sisters' creative relationship with Oberst was cemented in 2014 when they sang backing vocals on his solo album Upside-Down Mountain, and that same year the duo released Stay Gold, their first album on the major-label Columbia. It hit number one in Sweden and Norway, and charted in the Top 25 in several European countries, the U.S., Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. Stay Gold went on to win Album of the Year at Sweden's Grammis. After two years of touring, festivals, and international TV appearances (including a cover of Simon & Garfunkel's "America" for Late Show with David Letterman), First Aid Kit headed to Portland, Oregon to record their third full-length album. The lead single "It's a Shame" saw release in the fall of 2017. ~ Andrew Leahey & Scott Kerr

  • ORIGIN
    Enskede, Sweden
  • FORMED
    2007

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