Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Albums of the Year 2012 - #3 First Aid Kit - The Lion's Roar

When Swedish sisters Johanna and Klara Soderberg first came on the radar of music fans with their You Tube cover version of Fleet Foxes Tiger Mountain Pleasant Song aged just 18 and 15 and followed it up with the Drunken Trees EP in 2008 and The Big Black And The Blue album in 2009 the journalistic cliché of “a maturity beyond their years,” was rolled out over and over again. Yet it’s with The Lion’s Roar that First Aid Kit really come of age.

Recorded in Nebraska with Mike Mogis (Bright Eyes, Alessi’s Ark, M.Ward) The Lion’s Roar is an album of country tinged pop songs with perfectly balanced harmonies of the type that only two sisters can produce.  It’s a bigger, more confident record than either of their previous releases, but most importantly the wonderful songs contained therein are always gorgeous. Flecked with sadness and despair in the lyrics, the music is so charming that it never weighs the record down to the extent that it becomes over-heavy, in fact it’s almost the opposite, The Lion’s Roar sounds quite delightful. Add in some latino trumpets and Conor Oberst of Bright Eyes to help out with some guest vocals on the toe tapping and jubilant King Of The World plus the finest homage to country music stars to ever grace a stereo with Emmylou and what you have is a record that equals its older peer group in quality.

Over the last year a number of singing sisters (The Unthanks, The Staves) have taken traditional forms of music (folk, country) and delighted us by putting a youthful beauty to it, but it’s First Aid Kit who top the family pile with this delightful album in 2012.

First Aid Kit - Blue (Video)

First Aid Kit - Emmylou

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