First Aid Kit: Stay Gold

The Söderberg sisters go for the gold on their third full length “Stay Gold”.

It can’t be easy going from Youtube sensation to festival stages in five short years. But that is just what the Swedish duo First Aid Kit have done. Against all odds, talented Swedish sisters Klara and Johanna Söderberg have delivered on the promise of their 2008 teen Youtube debut. An acoustic cover version of the Fleet Foxes “Tiger Mountain Peasant Song” that caught the indie world by storm and captured the attention of Conor Oberst and Jack White.

With a strong sophomore effort in 2012’s The Lion’s Roar, First Aid Kit could rest assured that they were headed in the right direction. They had successfully warmed our hearts with their synced harmonies and jangly americana signature sound. Stay Gold picks up where The Lion’s Roar left off. Perhaps due to better command of the English language or just added confidence, youngest sister and lead singer Klara dominates the stage with a strong, hefty vocal style. Klara is balanced by Johanna’s in-the-shadows stage presence and softened her harmonies. On stage and in recording, the sisters merge into a single vocal force.

“Silver Lining” is a great opening track, with it’s nice little rambling beat, and a soft string section. The vocals are pure Appalachia and will instantly make you forget these girls are from Sweden. The second track, “Master Pretender” is another warm track that would play well with radio, if it were not for the four letter embellishment. After this, the girls lull me into a harmonic trance for several songs, only to be woken by “Heaven Knows” and it’s raucous yell ‘Straight to Hell’ lyric. The highlights are few, but it’s hard not to like this album.

First Aid Kit has stumbled on a sound unique as their heritage. Akin to duos of the past, such as Simon and Garfunkle or Olson and Louris, many will try, but few will succeed at the magic that Klara and Joanna create. There are a few winners on Stay Gold, but in the end, I would have to give the gold medal to Lion’s Roar and look forward to their next album to see where First Aid Kit will take their listeners. By no means have we heard everything there is to hear from these two. For gods sake they are barely into their 20’s.

3 Sheep

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