Review: First Aid Kit – Stay Gold

Small_Gold_Album_-_First_Aid_Kit          In 2008, Johanna and Klara Söderberg, two young Swedish sisters, appeared on you-tube sharing a cover and tribute to Fleet Foxes “Tiger Mountain Peasant Song” where they seemed completely at home in the middle of the forest, ethereal and earthy. Their indie-country/folk vibe became a hit and they’ve since blossomed into a full fledged and highly followed duo. It was their second album, The Lion’s Roar, which secured them as artists to watch. Fans loved their big sky echo and the orchestrations that work so well with their drifty poetical lyrics.

First Aid Kit’s new album, Stay Gold, released on June 10th this summer, is as beautifully harmonious, lyrically intriguing, and folk inspired as their last. Though the same optimism and youth rings through, this album, their first produced by Columbia Records, has a deeper and more mature feel. The Söderberg sisters sing with conviction and with a sound that seems to echo through the mountainside as they reflect on their youth. The album conveys their struggles with life on the road – leaving family and friends behind and wondering if it will all lead to anything. With this sentiment, you can see that they were undoubtedly inspired by Robert Frost. With an album titled and a song named Stay Gold, we can only be reminded of Frost’s poem “Nothing Gold Can Stay”, as they sing “What if our hard work ends in despair? What if the road won’t take me there? Oh, I wish, for once, we could stay gold.” Additionally, the album deals with their love for music, and their womanhood. Thoughtful, fun and poetic lyrics such as “girls just want to have fun and the rest of us hardly know who we are” from Waitress Song are relatable and searing, even when broaching a topic not many can truly understand, the life of a traveling musician.

In this album, First Aid Kit stays true to the sound that captured audiences in Lion’s Roar, but this time around they have less of a “conquer the world” feel. Instead, they speak maturely about real life struggles. The effect of these heart-on-your-sleeve lyrics is one that allows the listeners to follow the sisters on their journey, while also being able to relate them to their own lives. And they can do all this while singing along to the beautiful melodies and dancing choruses.

Rating: 7.5/10

Maria – a young reader before writer who enjoys the classics but devours most anything she can get her hands on. If she’s not immersed in a book she’s surely jamming out to something folky. She’s a barista to make a buck and her hobbies include tennis, calligraphy and K-Dramas (^__^)