Precocious Danish sisters Johanna and Klara Soderberg are a rare breed these days. The Swedish sisters seem to have eluded the ‘internet sensation’ figurehead, despite having rapidly spread their name after a YouTube upload gained them serious traction. While their sophomore album ‘The Lions Roar’ debuted at No.1 in their homeland and stemmed a degree of international notoriety as well as a sizeable fan base, their departure from previous label Wichita to Columbia for this record served to cement the sisters on a more acclaimed scale.
Their third album ‘Stay Gold’ has pitched them to an audience of much larger scope than anything previous. Amalgamating such defined sounds together, First Aid Kit are singing a facet of country/folk to people who have never heard such sounds before.
Most twenty-somethings shrivel at the thought of quoting 1920’s poetry. Being forced to memorise a litany of work thrust upon you has little appeal, but Robert Frost’s importance to the backbone for this album’s title is clear, the conflicts of his poem ‘Nothing Gold Can Stay’ are evidently pertinent to the sisters.
What’s noticeable about First Aid Kid is how youthful their voices are, singing about such weighty senescent matters. My Silver Lining has a swingy tempo and depth from the beginning due to recording the album along with a 13 piece orchestra. It’s overridden with devout contemplation ‘I don’t know if I’m scared of dying but I’m scared of living too fast…Show me my silver lining.’ Not quite an affectionate hook, the refrain of the chorus makes it catchy despite the underlined sadness of the lyrics.
Waitress Song is a chirpy cry, a fantasy about the universal desire to just get up and go. The acoustic drive of guitar seems constantly imminent as do the harmonies that salve together so well for a natural intimate fit. Cedar Lane takes full advantage of the orchestral accompanist, it spits quite nimbly with both flute and steel guitar. At times it can sound almost bluesy in execution and is one of the more gentle and delicate tracks on ‘Stay Gold’.
The album is full of sorrow, but delivered with sophistication. The orchestra add dimension to such laments; the only critique centres on a lack of variety.