Wednesday, 10 December 2014

First Aid Kit "Stay Gold" (2014)

Swedish folk duo First Aid Kit are the best thing about Kanye's "Yeezus"... Hu? What? Heres an interesting story, as Yeezus came to a close it was preceded by what I initially thought was an "ironic" counter culture sample. Like at the end of a Metal or Hip Hop show the house lights come on and sometimes the PA will play something to juxtapose the mood, ie the Bee Gees "Staying Alive". Being completely oblivious to what was next on my playlist, I genuinely thought this was the end of Yeezus. I grinned, thinking "Ironically this is brilliant, best part of the record". As the song drew on I released my foolishness and checked the playlist. First Aid Kit was recommended to me by a reader on this blog and after checking them out on Youtube I ordered this record, which I have now fallen in love with.

Stay Gold is a bright, warm, uplifting and introspective record that brings the loving and harmonious voices of sisters Klara and Johanna to the forefront of colorful, melodic instrumentals reminiscent of American Country music and other Folk like music. Their voices are sunny and powerful, possessing only a fair range their charm comes from the honesty in the lyricism and ear for the catchy hooks in their imaginative and soulful delivery of heart warming and positive messages. What I like most about the lyrics is there acceptance, rather than ignorance of life's struggles, providing uplifting introspectives on dealing with hardships and creating an air of maturity towards the topics explored on the record. Its paints a strong picture of these girls who despite their youth seems to have their heads firmly attached to their shoulders.

Even though their voices and lyrics stole the show, the instrumentation that backs them is not to be overlooked. A pallet of Country instruments provide rich and moody backing for the vocal leads. Their acoustic guitars tend to fall back into these instrumentals, a little buried, providing some gentle strumming but often letting the strings and piano take lead on guiding the narrative of this songs. The chemistry is strong, they build intensities and ease off in-line with the direction of the vocals. It adds a touch of class to the execution of this record which is stellar and has me yearning to listen to it frequently. I feel this one may be a personal favorite of mine, but only time will tell.

Favorite Songs: My Silver Lining, Stay Gold, Cedar Lane, Waitress Song
Rating: 9/10