First Aid Kit ‘The Lion’s Roar’ Album Review

For a Swedish duo, First Aid Kit do folky Americana very well, and don’t let the name of the band put you off. The Lion’s Roar is one of the early contenders for album of the year.

The Söderberg sisters tap into a rich harmonic understanding of both the genre and one another. ‘Emmylou’ has a hooky chorus, name-dropping prominent country rock star pairings Emmylou Harris & Gram parsons and Johnny Cash & June Carter.

The album is upbeat throughout but not annoyingly so. Both the sisters take turns to sing, backing one another with a southern twang, which isn’t quite genuine but you wouldn’t know it if you weren’t told they’re Swedish.

‘I Found a Way’ is a hypnotic night-time song of yearning while ‘Wolf’ rumbles with tom-heavy drums and reverb-soaked choral sections. Mike Mogis produces the album which lends the sound some quality as well as helping to draw out the melodic tone of each track.

The album’s closer ‘King of the World’ is a duet with Bright Eyes front man Conor Oberst and is typically, toe-tappingly good with small observations of the human spirit (even throwing in the Bright Eyes trumpets circa I’m Wide Awake It’s Morning). These girls shot to fame on tour with the aforementioned band so it’s not surprising they’ve been roped in.

Anyone who isn’t a fan of the genre might struggle to get through the whole album but if you have even the smallest soft spot for this type of longing, acoustic based music then you’ll find it hard to tear yourself away.

‘The Lion’s Roar’ is the album’s best song, a mission statement for the band: “I’m a god-damned fool but then so are you, the lion’s roar has me seeking out and searching for you.” An honest admission of faults and flaws but with the intention to get stronger.

Picture Credit: lactulli

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