Banner Image: Neil Krug/Courtesy of the artist
For a pair of young Swedish sisters, First Aid Kit's Klara and Johanna Söderberg sure do attract a lot of Fleet Foxes comparisons. Those start, of course, with the pair's gorgeous 2008 cover of "Tiger Mountain Peasant Song," which became a YouTube sensation to the tune of more than 2.6 million views. But they'll no doubt continue with the release of First Aid Kit's second full-length album, The Lion's Roar (out Jan. 24), which conjures an array of dense echo-chamber harmonies and a good deal of achingly somber portent. Much of the time, it stays nestled in a Foxes-friendly sweet spot of rich choral folk, suitable for moping and swooning along.
But, while the title track opens The Lion's Roar on a serious note ("I'm a goddamned coward / but then again so are you," First Aid Kit sings in the chorus), the album isn't all doomstruck mountain music and solemn condemnations. It quickly finds a place for the charmingly goodnatured lilt of "Emmylou," in which the sisters romanticize past musical Americana couples, while "King of the World" closes the album with a ramshackle, clap-along rouser — complete with guest vocals from The Felice Brothers and former tourmate Conor Oberst. Naturally, stark moments like "To a Poet" ratchet up the gloom along the way, but the Söderbergs are wise and versatile enough never to stay in one place for too long.
-- by Stephen Thompson, NPR Music
The Lion’s Roar will be available to stream on demand from January 16 through January 24, 2012. The album will be released on January, 24, 2012.
Also, the album insert includes a free download of the songs heard on this session of KCRW's Morning Becomes Eclectic.