Review | First Aid Kit

First Aid Kit - Neil Krug

First Aid Kit - Neil Krug

The Lion’s Roar, First Aid Kit, Wichita

The teaser first track from the Swedish sisters First Aid Kit’s next record shares the new album’s title: The Lion’s Roar. The band released this song on their website and without fanfare or press release. They wanted “the song to speak for itself”. It’s a statement of intent: eldest Soderberg sister Johanna’s voice is strident. The melodies entwine the sisters’ harmonies to create a resonant depth to this unusual song.

The instrumentation references Tudor-esque arrangement, with a deliberately limited vocal range backed by an almost ritualistic rhythm. The challenging tone in this track has more in common with the early 1970s recordings coming out of the Muscle Shoals Sound Studios than with the whimsy more commonly associated with female voices in folk. There are certainly daubings of nostalgia all over this track, but tempered with a hard knowingness. First Aid Kit seem to be marking out territory for themselves, saying, this is us; let’s have done with the debate about whether we are old enough to make this music. When such mournful and soulful music is made by young women barely out of their teens, it seems inevitable that people will wonder why and how the sisters became so strong and so sorrowful so soon.

From this preview of the new record due for release in early 2012, the girls are cannot wait to hear more. The album is produced by Mike Mogis (Bright Eyes); songs from it are due to be showcased at their London show (Bush Hall, 6December). the girls are cannot wait to hear what else the Soderberg prodigies have up their bell-shaped sleeves.

Arike Oke

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