This week the Swedish duo First Aid Kit released their third album Stay Gold, giving us a taste of what’s to come when they head down under for Splendour In The Grass and their string of sideshows next month.
Having signed with a major label for their new record, you might think First Aid Kit might stray from their sound. However Joanna and Klara Soderberg have kept true to themselves, creating another record that celebrates their beautiful harmonies and folky orchestral sound. These Swedish sisters sing with such confidence and wisdom while creating gorgeous harmonies that are bold in sound but have a touch of fragility to them as they sing their sad songs about lost loves and heartbreak.
The album opens with their first single “My Silver Lining”, an introduction to the stunning harmonies between the sisters, as well as lovely violin melodies that add a beautiful texture to the song. Next up is “Master Pretender” that really highlights the comforting folky country vocals of the duo.
The vocals take centre stage in “Shattered and Hollow”, with lyrics that tell the story of a long lost love, ‘I’m in love and I am lost, but I’d rather be broken than empty, I rather be shattered than hollow’. This particular song highlights the fact that these girls are not mindlessly harmonising, but rather their harmonies add character to their songs that give them more depth and meaning. They also demonstrate that there are no limitations to their vocal abilities in “Fleeting one”, which starts as an acoustic number before the sister’s harmonies break the ceiling and soar high above.
“Heaven Knows” is one of the most upbeat songs on the record with fast acoustic guitar melodies that resembles a train steaming fast ahead. The album closes on the slower “A Long Time Ago”, which has beautiful orchestral arrangements that compliment the sister’s harmonies. The song finishes with the last lyrics being ‘I lost you a long time ago’, which leave you with an imprint after the album finishes.
Where this album struggles is being an interesting album to listen to as a whole. Individually, each track is a joy to listen to. They each have a beautiful story, that features the sister’s delightful harmonies and interesting arrangements. However, the variety of their sound is limited, resulting in a homogeneous album.
While this may be the case, First Aid Kit have a talent for using their golden harmonies to invoke emotion and memories in the listener while sharing their own stories. They truly do know how to make beautiful songs that are comforting in nature, as well creating an album that is a true reflection of themselves.
Review Score: 7.8 out of 10
Stay Gold is out now. The band will be in Australia next month for Splendour in the Grass and sideshows in Sydney and Melbourne on the 29th and 30th of July, respectively. Another show on the 31st in Melbourne has already sold out.
This was originally posted on the Au Review- http://www.theaureview.com