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The Lion's Roar - Single

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Album Review

Described as the Swedish answer to the Pierces, sisters Johanna and Klara Söderberg, aka First Aid Kit, blend autumnal folk and wistful '60s Americana, and have gathered a pretty illustrious following since their cover version of Fleet Foxes' "Tiger Mountain Peasant Song" became a YouTube hit back in 2008. As well as releasing their debut single through the Knife's Rabid Records label, they have since made Patti Smith cry with their rendition of her 1979 single "Dancing Barefoot," been courted by Jack White, who invited them to appear on two tracks for his Third Man Records' Blue Series, and now find themselves under the guidance of producer Mike Mogis (Bright Eyes) for their second album, The Lion's Roar. It's an impressive turn of events for a duo that hails from a small suburb of Stockholm, but the follow-up to 2010's The Big Black & the Blue reveals why First Aid Kit have attracted so much attention. Juxtaposing the girls' glorious ethereal harmonies with a genuine sense of melancholy, the bittersweet alt-country of "Emmylou" (a tribute to the musical partnerships of Ms. Harris and Gram Parsons, and Johnny Cash and June Carter), the twinkling Mama Cass-esque "Blue," and the lush acoustics of "I Found a Way" are all beautifully heartbreaking. The medieval-tinged opening title track and the infectious handclaps and mariachi horns on "King of the World," the latter of which features guest appearances from Conor Oberst and the Felice Brothers, are convincing forays into rousing nu-folk, while it's impossible not to be charmed by the low-key dreaminess of "In the Hearts of Men" and the campfire singalong of "This Old Routine," both of which bear the hallmarks of the long Scandinavian dark winters. A change of pace toward the midway section is less absorbing, with the intimate balladry of "To a Poet," "Dance to Another Tune," and "New Year's Eve" all drifting into the same slightly bland troubadour territory. But for the most part, The Lion's Roar is a mesmerizing listen that — alongside recent releases from the likes of the Tallest Man on Earth and Anna Ternheim — suggests the Swedish folk scene is currently hitting something of a purple patch. [The box set reissue tacks three bonus tracks onto the CD ("Wolf," "Marianne's Son," and "I Just Need a Friend") and includes a DVD with three videos as well as a documentary on the band.] ~ Jon O'Brien, Rovi

Customer Reviews

very soulful...

listening to this sister act, I get the sense that this isn't just some rehashed b.s.....Sometimes, it just seems that bands slap together their version of a recipe that some exec. tells them that we want. I listened, listened some more, and went back for seconds... delicious.

Haunting!

This song is perfect for listening to while walking alone in the woods or turning all the lights off. I could listen to this song a thousand times over and never get tired of it!

Chugging along

This sister duo manages to draw more emotion from Marianne's Song then most of what is called country these days all put together. Most American country has lost is roots and soul and has become like anemic pop with a subtle twang. Viva alternative folk and country. Some of their songs haunt like Cat Power. They keep improving in their singing depth and song strength and are a band to keep an eye on. I know I will be now

Biography

Formed: 2007 in Enskede, Sweden

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s, '10s

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...
Full Bio
The Lion's Roar - Single, First Aid Kit
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