I've been captivated by First Aid Kit ever since I first heard "You're Not Coming Home Tonight," a hauntingly beautiful folk song from their 2008 EP about a woman who skips town to get away from a horrible husband. Since then, Swedish sisters Johanna and Klara Söderberg have continued to charm. Their first major-label album, Stay Gold, comes out June 10 from Columbia Records and features the duo's wistful vocal harmonies lacing through tracks that are equal parts folk, country, and pop.
Here's their first music video for the album's leading track, "My Silver Lining":
First Aid Kit came to fame in 2008 after their YouTube cover of "Tiger Mountain Peasant Song" by Fleet Foxes clocked in at a few million views, and no offense to Fleet Foxes, but they knocked the socks off of the original recording. And they've continued with their enchanting covers. At their sold-out show in Portland last month, First Aid Kit lent their harmonies to beautiful renditions of Simon & Garfunkel's "America" and Bob Dylan's "One More Cup of Coffee." These folk classics pair well with First Aid Kit's original recordings, which just as skillfully capture the essence of good old Americana.
Stay Gold, like their other albums, is full of small towns, big dreams, and heart-wrenching lyrics. It's a beautiful album with big sound that will make you feel big feelings. All of the songs pull on my heart strings, but I'm particularly fond of "Waitress Song," with my favorite lyrics from the album: "I remember sleepless nights/I remember Chicago/I remember the music from the downstairs bar/Girls, they just want to have fun/And the rest of us hardly know who we are."
First Aid Kit write so eloquently about restlessness and heartbreak, but their songs' subjects are still strong and determined, and that's what I love about this band. They prove that melancholy and perserverence can go hand-in-hand. On Stay Gold, they demonstrate that strength in "Master Pretender": "Never thought that I was weak/Always thought I could get hurt pretty bad, still get up on my own two feet."
The duo is wrapping up their North American tour this month. If you have the chance to, you should absolutely go see them, and witness how seriously they take the gold theme. At their Portland show, they wore matching gold dresses in front of a gold stage backdrop. It was lovely!
First Aid Kit's amazing gold outfits—photo by Takeshi Suga, via the band's Instragram.
Related Listening: A whole mixtape of sisters making music together.
Ashley McAllister is Bitch Media's development and outreach coordinator. She's bad at Twitter, but is on Instagram @ashleymacrina.