One of the best Americana acts these days is a band that grew up nowhere near America. Sisters Johanna and Klara Söderberg started First Aid Kit in their hometown of Stockholm, Sweden in 2007. They discovered American folk and country via Bright Eyes’ 2005 album I’m Wide Awake, It’s Morning, eventually working their way back towards the old guard. Their close harmony style reflects a love of the Carter Family, but they bring their own youthful vigor and outsider eye to the tradition.
If their first recordings were somewhat tentative, both 2012’s The Lion’s Roar and this year’s Stay Gold are big and cinematic. Producer Mike Mogis–who, not coincidentally, is part of Bright Eyes–surrounds the Söderbergs’ harmonies with warm touches of pedal steel and guitar. Despite their young age, their songwriting reflects an old soul. “Emmylou” is a standout song, timeless in its lovelorn sentiment but filled with the kind of pining only a couple of Swedish sisters could impart by being an ocean away from the source material. First Aid Kit knocked us out at the Four Seasons during ACL Fest 2012, and we’re turning the spotlight on this live rendition of “Emmylou.” Download the song below, and catch First Aid Kit at Fun Fun Fun Fest 2014.
Saturday, Nov. 8 – Orange Stage, 7:10 p.m.