I don't know about you, but the first thing on my mind in the morning isn’t usually a Swedish folk-country-pop sister duo. That all changed last week when I heard the band First Aid Kit for the very first time. For the past few days, the sweet melodic harmonies of Johanna and Klara Söderberg, the talented women of First Aid Kit, are the first voices I hear in the morning when I plug my phone into the stereo and rummage around for my glasses.
First Aid Kit specializes in folk-country-pop, with a youthful and fluffy sound to their music. The first song I discovered was “Emmylou” which is a country-based pop song that compares the love life of the singer(s) to the heartwarming love story of Johnny Cash and June Carter, as well as the heartbreaking couple-that-never-was, Emmylou Harris and Gram Parsons.
The song has a Nashville sound with the twang of a heavy string section, snare drum and pedal steel guitar. If country is not your thing, fear not, as First Aid Kit also has an abundance of folk tunes, largely inspired by Leonard Cohen. Songs like “To a Poet,” “Nothing Has to Be True” and “Dance to Another Tune” melodically and lyrically describe the mourning, hope, sadness and fear that flows freely through our most intimate, and our most ordinary, relationships, conversations, interactions and exchanges of emotion.
One of the best songs comes from the band’s only live album, “Live from the Rebel Hearts Club.” The song, “You Are the Problem Here,” rips apart misogyny and expounds patriarchy in a fringe, Joan Jett-esque, punk-rock tempo that leads the listener to fear for their life but wanting, and needing, more. If you are anything like me, and after you listen to the band on repeat until your roommate starts yelling at you, you’ll begin to fall in love with the band members themselves, slowly realizing that, while you love First Aid Kit, they are sadly so much cooler than you.
If listening to a totally new sound filled with rock, folk and country elements, and falling in love with Johanna Söderberg, sounds appealing to you, First Aid Kit should be next up on your queue.