First Aid Kit – The Big Black And The Blue [Album Review]

by oz on September 15, 2010

First Aid Kit delivered my first “Holy shit!” moment of the year. Its a rare experience to get floored when receiving an album from an unknown band. It happened with Joe Pug when I received his Nation of Heat EP in 2008 and now again with the arrival of First Aid Kits The Big Black and The Blue.

The band is made up of Swedish sisters Klara and Johanna Soderberg. Klara plays guitar, Johanna is heard on keys and autoharp, and they both share songwriting and vocal duties. In the resulting body of work, youll find wise beyond their years lyrics, melancholy arrangements, and warm harmonies that spin tales of self-discovery at the expense of lost love and memories of ghosts left behind.  The album would be a remarkable feat for the most travelled and experienced musicians, but its more remarkable considering that Klara and Johanna are age 17 and 19 respectively.

This debut LP is an obsession. “Hard Believer” is the track featured here with lyrics that are both simple and poignant, building to a climax with the chorus “And its one life and its this life and its beautiful.” The following track bounces along with a more lighthearted, upbeat twist in “Sailor Song.”

There really isnt a weak point in the album. “Ghost Town” is a sparse acoustic number full of emotion. Its a song about leaving someone you love to find yourself before settling down for good, only to find that they found someone else in the meantime. Do you make one final attempt to salvage what you had? Do you walk away? Do you live on with regret? I guess these are the types of themes explored by teenagers these days. Or at least in Sweden. Or at least by these two girls.

The album was released in May and over 1 million YouTube Viewers discovered them and their Fleet Foxes cover. I may be somewhat late to the game here, but I can’t recommend the album enough. It’s a perfect album for the fall season.

First Aid Kit – Hard Believer

Video: First Aid Kit – Tiger Mountain Peasant Song (Fleet Foxes Cover)

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Shirk September 15, 2010 at 9:26 am

This one has been spinning on repeat since I put the CD in yesterday afternoon. Holy Shit!

Dave September 15, 2010 at 9:46 am

Yes, this is a beauty. I’ve actually had a promo of it (from their UK press agency) since January, so it is now very much part of my life. By way of passing, incidentally, you may be interested to learn that Klara and Johanna are both over six feet tall.

Woody September 15, 2010 at 11:06 am

Tall Swedish girls that can sing like angels. Count me in as a fan. That Fleet Foxes cover is tasty.

Lindsayfrom YAWMA September 15, 2010 at 12:55 pm

yes! been wanting to find some solid new folk. gorgeous. kind of reminds me of Karen Dalton ‘something on your mind’ but with two amazing voices instead o’ one.

oz September 15, 2010 at 1:23 pm

They are kind of like female version of the Avett Brothers. Yes, I just commented on my own post.

Mubashar Hassan September 24, 2010 at 7:50 am

i agree with you Woody you have a same taste like me that cover is attractive but music is cool too, have you guyz every listened o somali music, it is a treat to hear i listened to it and was woooooo. let em suggest you a link for somali music

Fantastic Somali Music, please visit

http://somali-music.com

somali music

christopher beard September 26, 2010 at 8:41 am

thanks for sharing. I kinda stumbled here this morning and I’m jazzed what a great track .

- Christopher Beard

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