First Aid Kit is formed of two young teenage sisters who have managed to cause a huge noise in the folk world. The Swedish girls (Klara & Johanna Söderberg) may be physically young but the maturity in their debut album Drunken Trees is simply breathtaking. Every song is filled with inventive musical composition which you just won’t hear anywhere else.
The girls describe their sound as “Folk/Acoustic/Japanese Pop”. Well I’m not an expert on what Japanese pop is like, but if it is anything like this then you can bet that I will be in a few months time. The album’s tracks seem to split into two categories: soft, delicate ballads and up-tempo Japanese Pop?
Lets get down to business then with the highlights of the record. “You’re not coming home tonight” seems to be the big hit out of the collection and it delivers tidy acoustic playing that would not be out of place around the campfire. If you’re looking for the tune that defines First Aid Kit, then listen to “Jagadamba, You Might” which has a dark tone to it but displays the finest example of the superb vocals and lyrics that are unique to the two Söderberg sisters.
For me, the best track is “Tangerine” simply because it has the perfect balance of being a commercial acoustic song with the First Aid Kit spin to it. It builds at a steady pace and the chorus is one of the few you might be able to sing along with if your voice is as amateur as mine. I also believe that every album needs its perky/chirpy tunes and Drunken Trees does not disappoint with tracks like “Our Own Pretty Ways” and “Cross Oceans” which sees the girls go a bit rock and roll with an awesome bass line backing them up.
To sum up, the album is a stunner. It’s melodic yet weird vocals and scales flow through the record making for a captivating listen. If this duo are supposed to develop then I can’t imagine what the next release will be like. On first listen your ears are simply perplexed, but when you listen to the record again, let your ears adjust and you’ll surely love it.