despite their recent emergence onto the North American music scene, Sweden’s First Aid Kit introduced their music to the public back in 2007. the sisters sent their demo Tangerine to a Swedish radio station, and it received airplay that summer. Joanna and Klara put out the EP Drunken Trees in 2008; their debut full-length album The Big Black and the Blue came out in 2010, followed by a massive world tour.
First Aid Kit has performed Lua with Bright Eyes (personally, one of my fave BE songs) on stage in several cities while on tour with them during 2011, including this performance in Birmingham AL. indie-folk pioneer, Conor Oberst, and indie blues-rock icon and talent scout, Jack White, have had a large part in First Aid Kit’s hype and support in North America for their sophomore recording, which is a testament to their talent and songwriting abilities. they have also brought Patti Smith to tears with their cover of her hit “Dancing Barefoot”. Mike Mogul, who is in Bright Eyes and Monsters of Folk with Oberst, also produced The Lion’s Roar for the Swedish sisters. their harmonies are unmistakably like those of last year’s darlings, the Fleet Foxes, complete with the same heavy vocal reverb. but i love that stuff.
“The Lion’s Roar” sounds like the aural bliss that would come of a three-album smash-up of Fleet Foxes’ Helplessness Blues, My Morning Jacket‘s Tennessee Fire and Midlake‘s Courage of Others. have a listen for yourself…
“Emmylou”, has the backbone of a country song playing on the car radio in the 1970s, but the pretty lyrics give them away as modern young romantics. here’s the band’s video for you to enjoy…
as for the rest of the The Lion’s Roar:
“Blue” is lovely: laced with a lazy, summery 60s pop atmosphere. “This Old Routine’s” soft strong beat, and the gentle chug of the southern-steeped “I Found a Way” make me want to get in my car and drive. the gentle, lulling, soft darkness leads me into my own head (which, admittedly, isn’t hard- i live there a lot…). The upbeat “King of the World” (featuring Conor Oberst), with its bright horns, warm fiddle and simple guitar progression, is the perfect closer. As much as prior tracks envelop me, this song is like a gentle release from First Aid Kit’s arms- an encouraging push back into the world and out of my head.
The Lion’s Roar is the sound of a Sunday morning in your pyjamas with a pot of strong coffee, a great book, an armchair and some solitude. it’s the sound of comfort and contentment: it creates a beautiful space to curl into and revel in their lovely voices, which seem to stop time, if only for the 45 minutes it takes to listen to the album.