FIRST AID KIT is comprised of Swedish sisters Klara (17) and Johanna Sderberg (19) who call Enskede, a district of Stockholm, home. The duo have been steadily inspiring teenage and adult hearts alike since the April 2008 Swedish release of their Drunken Trees EP on The Knife-owned label, Rabid. Upon conquering local clubs with their wise-beyond-their-years, country tinged pop, Wichita Recordings signed the young sisters to a worldwide deal in the Fall of 2008. This union resulted in a broader release for the EP, steady UK/European touring, festival appearances and ultimately the completion of their debut album, The Big Black & The Blue. Spring brought the release to North America on May 25th.
The album, released abroad this past January, and did not go unnoticed:
"A masterpiece" 5/5 " Sunday Telegraph
"The Big Black and the Blue is a sparkling jewel that belies the tender year of its creators" 4.5/5 " The Sun
FIRST AID KIT soaked up everything from Buffy Sainte-Marie to Bright Eyes in their formative years, which shaped their way with songwriting, arrangements and even the use of a second language. Upon the re-release of their EP in 2009, the girls took to the Swedish woods where they filmed a series of covers, including Fleet Foxes' "Tiger Mountain Peasant Song" that became a YouTube phenomenon (currently at over a million views). Shot simply and surrounded by glorious forest and sky, the power of the sisters' natural talents shone. Their deep love for the celebration of music could be felt in the quiet joy of performing their favorite songs together.
FIRST AID KIT is now unveiling a remarkable debut album to call their own, on which the sisters shared vocal duties; Klara mined guitar with Johanna performing keys and autoharp. The Big Black & the Blue was recorded intermittently throughout 2008/2009 with the help of their father, Benkt Sderberg, at their home studio Cellar Door. The collected work transports the listener via shimmering, almost telekinetic harmonies and thoughtful lyrical imagery. The songs on The Big Black & the Blue seep under the skin and claw at you. Surface playfulness is deceiving as the tracks take on a darker hue in moments, creating a surefooted yet interesting balance. By the first strokes of the acoustic fused opener, "In the Morning," we enter the warm and spellbinding nature that is FIRST AID KIT'S world. Transitioning to the mesmeric "Hard Believer," where a real-life argument about religion provoked the rousing, urgent line "And it's one life / and it's this life / and it's beautiful", then resting in the jauntiness of "Sailor Song," which is underpinned by a classic lost-love motif and a driving autoharp. Yet another album highlight, "I Met Up With the King," borrows a line from Gram Parsons to marvelous effect and "Heavy Storm" soothes with its loose swing. FIRST AID KIT penned all of the material for the album in addition to lovingly designing the sepia-toned artwork.
Pure of heart and entwining relentless imagination and talent, FIRST AID KIT is poised to stir some souls on their forthcoming adventure to the US. Won't you join them?