First Aid Kit, the folk band of Swedish sisters Klara and Johanna Söderberg, has had a quick rise to the top. They first burst on to the scene when they did a forest-side cover of Fleet Foxes‘ Tiger Mountain Peasant Song in 2008. Their vocal harmonies sounded so wonderful and felt so authentic that you would have been surprised that these girls were not born on the foothills of small-town Appalachia, but rather in far-away Sweden. When Fleet Foxes frontman Robin Pecknold found out about the video and shared it with the band’s fans, First Aid Kit‘s fame was pretty much assured given their talents.
What follows next was a dizzying climb. After releasing their debut record The Big Black & The Blue to critical acclaim, the Söderberg sisters got to meet their childhood hero Conor Oberst and eventually recorded their lovely follow-up record The Lion’s Roar at his Omaha ranch studio alongside Oberst and under the production watch of Bright Eyes‘ Mike Mogis. They subsequently toured in support of Oberst and his band.
And now with their third and newest record Stay Gold, First Aid Kit have signed to major label Columbia. Besides shifting the Söderbergs a little bit away from haunting folk and more towards the bigger-sounding classic-country, signing to major Columbia means bigger production are in store for the sisters’ new songs. And so after starting out with just a guitar and their harmonies as instrumentation, Klara and Johanna Söderberg are now singing songs with a full backing orchestration, including string sections and the 13-peice Omaha Symphony Orchestra as support. While my favorite version of First Aid Kit is still just the sisters and a guitar (their vocal harmonies are so potent that I don’t think they needed extra instrumentation), there’s no denying that the songs of Stay Gold are justifiably positioning the sisters for the bigger stage that they deserve. One of the best fully Americana album release for this year still comes from two sisters from Sweden.
Watch the video for single My Silver Lining embedded below.
First Aid Kit – Stay Gold comes out 6/10 via Columbia (order here)