First Aid Kit – sisters Joanna and Klara Söderberg – have just released their third studio album, Stay Gold. Like The Lions Roar, the melodies of all the tracks are immediately striking, the instrumental arrangements incredibly warm, and the lyrics poignant. So genuine is their American-style country sound that you would think that these girls were born in the Mid-West. With those close harmonies and rich textures, it never fails to feel genuine.
Waitress Song particularly evokes the grit of small-town America – probably a little too obviously in case: I could move to a small town / And become a waitress / Say my name was Stacey – as does the beautiful Cedar Lane. The title track Stay Gold has a strikingly bold chorus and the opening My Silver Lining stands out with its whining folk fiddles and fast lyrics that spout hardship and realism.
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 – Cedar Lane
The album has a more diverse range of timbres than its predecessor with a lively flute refrain in The Bell and a mellow clarinet accompanying Master Pretender.
Like the past albums, the songs are maps of journeys, love – love the most of all – and moral tales. These are moving accounts filled with true emotion: First Aid Kit has given us another album to cherish.