Artist: First Aid Kit
Album: Stay Gold
Release Date: 10 June 2014
Reviewer: Mitch Kampf – Station Manager
Review Date: 2 June 2014
Swedish sister act First Aid Kit releases their third album, Stay Gold, next week. The duo’s crisp harmonies and country influenced sounds have already taken U.S. airwaves by storm, but Stay Gold represents the maturity and growth of First Aid Kit as artists. Beginning with YouTube covers of Fleet Foxes songs, Johanna and Klara Söderberg have exploded onto the country folk scene recording for Jack White’s Third Man Records, collaborating with Connor Oberst of Bright Eyes and Monsters of Folk, and touring worldwide.
Stay Gold is a continuation of the Söderberg sisters’ growing presence in the country folk scene worldwide. The tracks on Stay Gold represent the personal journey First Aid Kit has taken as the duo tries to make sense of their growing fame. Tracks like “Cedar Lane” especially capture this feeling as the sisters sing, “Coast after coast, cities and states/ My world’s an empty map where nothing remains/ The place we belong is quietly gone/ While we were making plans, it drifted away” Stay Gold focuses on themes of loneliness and confusion, as the Söderberg’s describe their experience with the abrupt changes to their life. Unlike their previous albums, Johanna and Klara Söderberg have begun to write from their own experiences and struggles, and it pays off magnificently in some powerful tracks like “My Silver Lining” and “Cedar Lane” the latter ending with the cry, “How could I break away from you?” a call out to the life the two have left behind.
Yet, amidst the somber theme of Stay Gold First Aid Kit effectively lightens the heavier moments with the bright country sounds and harmonies the duo have become known for. What makes Stay Gold remarkable, however, is that it reveals the growth and maturation of First Aid Kit, as the duo delves into their own lives for inspiration and finds common struggles used to relate their music to an audience in a genuine way that feels true to the artists personalities. First Aid Kit has once again delivered a phenomenal album featuring the harmonies and country sounds that have made the group famous, but Stay Gold also provides a glimpse into the future. Stay Gold reveals what lies ahead for First Aid Kit musically, as the duo’s songwriting matures and begins to take on deeper themes.