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By Mary Chang
on Friday, 16th January 2015 at 4:00 pm
For the soundtrack to the Reese Witherspoon film drama Wild released last autumn First Aid Kit recorded a breathtaking cover of R.E.M.’s ‘Walk Unafraid’. While we knew that they sisters Soderberg filmed a promo video for their version of the song, we didn’t know that during the down time of the making of the video, someone had the good idea to film this live acoustic performance of the sisters singing the song while R.E.M.’s own Peter Buck played backing guitar. You can watch both the live performance and the forest atmospheric promo video for the song below.
TGTF’s past coverage on First Aid Kit is here.
By Mary Chang
on Wednesday, 29th October 2014 at 6:00 pm
The sisters Soderberg, aka massively popular folk duo First Aid Kit, have released the promo for the title track of their current album ‘Stay Gold’, their third released in June on Columbia. The lighting’s a bit strange on this one, but I guess they were trying for that dramatic, ’70s, distressed and aged photo look. Watch the video below.
Header photo by Neil Krug
Fresh from their sold out September tour of the UK, Swedish sibling duo First Aid Kit have announced another full tour for January of next year. Tickets for these shows will go on sale Friday the 3rd of October at 9 AM. If you haven’t already seen it, you can watch the video for their track ‘My Silver Lining’ below the tour date listing.
Wednesday 14th January 2015 – Bath Forum
Thursday 15th January 2015 – Cardiff St. David’s
Friday 16th January 2015 – Birmingham Symphony Hall
Saturday 17th January 2015 – Manchester Apollo
Monday 19th January 2015 – Edinburgh Usher Hall
Tuesday 20th January 2015 – Newcastle City Hall
Wednesday 21st January 2015 – Nottingham Royal Concert Hall
Friday 23rd January 2015 – Cambridge Corn Exchange
Saturday 24th January 2015 – Brighton Dome
Sunday 25th January 2015 – Norwich UEA
Tuesday 27th January 2015 – London Hammersmith Apollo
By Mary Chang
on Tuesday, 26th August 2014 at 4:00 pm
Johanna and Klara Soderberg, better known as First Aid Kit, are riding high these days on their success. Who would have ever guessed a couple years ago that two sisters from a suburb of Stockholm would be able to capture the imagination of folk music lovers around the world? This summer, they released their third album but their first for a major (Columbia), ‘Stay Gold’.
In this live video, the sisters perform an acoustic version of ‘Master Pretender’, one of the standout tracks from their latest album. In it, while they look like they’ve been filmed in a time gone by, their unmistakable harmonies are beautiful as they ever were. Watch it below.
Swedish duo First Aid Kit open their third album with lyrics that include “I won’t take the easy road”, and I wondered if they really were brave enough to do just that. After a captivating debut album and a typical sophomore effort, this third outing had the band backed by a major label (Columbia) for the first time. Were they going to be brave enough to take the positives a major can offer them without falling prey to the encumbrances such a deal can demand? After a thoughtful listen or two, I think it is safe to say that Johanna and Klara Söderberg have a good grasp of what works for them, they took what they needed from the industry machine and managed to stay true to their original sound.
‘Stay Gold’ is an album full of beautiful sorrow and exhortations to stay true to oneself. The title track itself wistfully wonders at the hard work of life and the inevitable pitfalls that only make one wish for an easier path to love. With repeated allusions to having to move on, undoubtedly referencing their nomadic lifestyle as touring musicians, an overall theme of loss and transiency is woven into the album. This LP is darker than the albums that preceded it but still retains the brightness that comes with the gorgeous harmonies of the sisters. Staying very true to their ‘70s flavoured folk style, the songs ring with light and clarity despite the more meaningful lyrics that lurk within the tunes.
The band also benefitted greatly from the add-ons a label can offer; their sound is a little richer, a little fuller than before. Indeed, full orchestration swells under a few songs such as ‘My Silver Lining’ and a perfectly understated flute captures the exact essence of ‘The Bell’. ‘Waitress Song’ soars through the middle of the album and even invokes a bit of Cyndi Lauper’s sentiment of having fun. The lyrics are a sad tale of trying to get over a bad break-up, but the story is told in a way that everyone can recognize. The Söderberg sisters still have a very clear preference for American country and folk; that style is now their style replete with pedal steel on ‘Master Pretender’ and the nearly two-step sound found on ‘Heaven Knows’. Fortunately, they carry it off well. The mournful piano ballad ‘A Long Time Ago’ closes out the experience with a soft letting go and leaves us quiet and contemplative.
Still exceedingly young (seriously, Klara is only 21 and has three full length releases and a major label deal under her belt!), the sisters have not only a lot of life left in their careers, but also a lot of life yet to live. If they can write songs with such depth and maturity at this point, it will be interesting to see what they develop as they experience life more fully.
First Aid Kit’s third album ‘Stay Gold’ is out now on Columbia Records. The sisters are scheduled to tour the UK in September. For more information on First Aid Kit, visit their official Web site.
Swedish sister act First Aid Kit will embark on a full UK tour in September, following the release of their third album ‘Stay Gold’ on the 9th of June on Columbia. They have also just released an elegant new video for ‘My Silver Lining’, which you can see below the tour date listing. (We featured the video for their recent track ‘Cedar Lane’ here just a few days ago.)
First Aid Kit have already sold out their Islington Assembly Hall show in London on the 15th of May and are scheduled to appear at the Latitude and Green Man Festivals this summer. Their September tour will include a date at the Royal Albert Hall; tickets for that show go on general sale at 9 AM on Friday the 16th of May.
Tuesday 16th September – Glasgow Old Fruitmarket
Wednesday 17th September – Belfast Empire Music Hall
Saturday 20th September – Manchester Albert Hall
Sunday 21st September – Bristol Colston Hall
Wednesday 24th September – London Royal Albert Hall