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Monday, 7 April 2014

First Aid Kit – The Lion’s Roar

Woodsy, campfire smoked folk music sung with sumptuous harmonies by two beautiful Scandinavian sisters. Sounds like a fairy tale, but it’s actually an accurate description of the gorgeous sound produced by the Soderberg sisters. Their first album ‘The Big Black and the Blue’ was a stalwart on the Into the Valley office stereo last year. So is the Lion’s Roar a suitable successor?

It’s more commercial, it’s sounds like there are greater production values and it flows with a slickness and confidence that has grown out of their blossoming talent. However the songs are weaker than on the previous album and although that lovely folksy, woodsy, countryside vibe lifts even their more mediocre offerings to a higher level, the fact remains that there are only three really memorable songs on the album.

The title track ‘The Lion’s Roar’ is the pick of the bunch with its trademark oozing harmonies and unashamed singalongability. ‘Emmylou’ is a country tinged classic that was forged in Nashville but sounds even better with the Swedish twang of Johanna and Klara’s voices and the pungent aroma of Scandinavian wood smoke in your nostrils. For once the bonus track on an album is actually a bonus, with ‘Wolf’ conjuring images of native Americans, the Jungle Book and North European forests, all wrapped up in silky intermingling vocal harmonies. Throw in the rest of the tracks that all have similar atmospheres, if not the song writing quality, and you’re onto a winner.

The Soderberg sisters show so much promise and ability that maybe we expect too much from them. By any other artist this would be a great album, but First Aid Kit are capable of more. Like Viking queens the sisters can invade the hearts of Europe and possibly discover America in the process and here’s hoping for another chapter in their saga in 2014.


  1. "Emmylou" is easily my favorite track, and for me a contemporary classic. Though I do agree "The Lion’s Roar" is a strong track.
    I haven't listened to The Big Black and the Blue, sounds like you really liked it.

  2. The Big Black and Blue is starker and folkier if anything, but the songs are much stronger as a whole. You should definitely give it a listen.