The year is 2007 and in Eskede, a suburb just outside of Stockholm, two sisters — Johanna and Klara Söderberg — have just sent a home-recorded demo to a Swedish radio station. The sisters, aged 17 and 14 respectively, have been singing as long as they can remember, and a few weeks later they are shocked to hear their demo ‘Tangerine’ actually being played on the radio.
However, from here the rest is history. The following year saw the sisters sign to a Swedish label called Rapid Records and upload a cover of Fleet Foxes’ ‘Tiger Mountain Pleasant Song’, which went viral on YouTube. The cover has now been viewed over 2.6 million times, and from here First Aid Kit released an EP called Drunken Trees in 2008. The band garnered further support in 2009 and 2010 when they played South By Southwest Festival in Texas, coinciding with the release of their debut album The Big Black & the Blue.
It seems that 2012 is the perfect time for First Aid Kit. Sweden is a hub for new musicians at the moment with the likes of Niki & the Dove, Miike Snow, Swedish House Mafia, Avicii and Icona Pop all hailing from the country, but First Aid Kit offers something different from their electropop. At a time when folk music is getting a huge revival due to bands like Mumford and Sons and Fleet Foxes, the music of First Aid Kit is perfectly timed. The Big Black & the Blue showcases a series of acoustic, folky songs, for which they have been praised for their “phenomenal way with gorgeous melodies and heart-melting harmonies”.
However, the new album The Lion’s Roar is a little more experimental, mixing country influences and campfire singalongs with a full band. The album has already received a very positive reaction, getting four stars from The Guardian and being compared to music from Laura Marling and Joni Mitchell by the BBC. Along with these reviews, the second single from the album ‘Emmylou’ has received some airplay on Radio 6 Music and more widespread airplay in the US, suggesting that 2012 will be First Aid Kit’s best year yet.
‘Emmylou’ is the second single taken from First Aid Kit’s forthcoming album The Lion’s Roar, released January 23rd.