Though First Aid Kit is Swedish sisters Klara and Johanna Söderberg, and they have opened for Lykke Li (QRO album review), they are decidedly not another Scandinavian electro-songstress in the style of LL, El Perro Del Mar (QRO live review), Oh Land (QRO album review), Grimes (QRO album review), etc. Instead, their sound on sophomore release The Lion’s Roar comes from the Middle America country/folk, and while they don’t exactly reinvent the country girl sound, they still do it well.
Right from the titular opener, The Lion’s Roar lets loose lady country/folk, mostly in the sadder position, such as the twang-loss “The Lion’s Roar”, pedal-slow “In the Hearts of Men”, or sad & stripped “To a Poet” & “New Year’s Eve”. It’s nice, but really only the twanged-up opener and resigned-to-tragedy “I Found a Way” out, and the same can be said for their sweeter songs like “Emmylou” & “Blue” – you’ve heard this sound before, and it can be hard to distinguish even between songs on the record.
However, an exception must be made for the final track, “King of the World”. It’s not only a catchy up-tempo piece, but also features guest vocals from Conor Oberst (a.k.a. Bright Eyes – QRO live review) and guest instrumentation from The Felice Brothers (QRO spotlight on). Hopefully there will be more catch, and more guest stars, in First Aid Kit’s future.
Amidst all the chillwave and electro-Nordic ladies, First Aid Kit is a great reminder of that oldest of sounds, country/folk.
MP3 Stream: “King of the World“