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First Aid Kit, once upon a time in America...

By Abigail Church | Video of the Day | January 24, 2018

When they released The Big Black And The Blue in 2010, Johanna and Klara Söderberg were 20 and 23 years old respectively. The two Swedish sisters quickly made a name for themselves at the top of the charts thanks to their covers of songs by Fleet Foxes, Lorde, Jack White and even Black Sabbath… Though throughout it all, First Aid Kit imposed their own style. A sort of dreamy folk that was as fresh as it was mesmerizing, at the heart of which shimmered vocal harmonies…

For their fourth album, the Söderbergs flew off to the West Coast of the United States. Written in California (Los Angeles) and recorded in Oregon (Portland), Ruins is without a doubt their most beautiful achievement. It’s the strongest tie between their native Sweden and the America of their dreams. Produced by the wonderful Tucker Martine, an expert in classy country, this is a record that above all draws its inspiration from Americas rich heritage (from the Gram Parsons/Emmylou Harris period to the recent Fleet Foxes) while staying true to its authors. Sparkling arrangements, smooth rhythmics, intense vocal harmonies and notable guests (Peter Buck from R.E.M., Glenn Kotche from Wilco and McKenzie Smith from Midlake), everything’s there to make their folk-rock even more luxurious than on The Lion's Roar (2012) and Stay Gold (2014). It’s almost impossible not to role out the old cliché: an album of maturity.

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