First Aid Kit - 'Stay Gold'

Swedish sisters Johanna and Klara Söderberg comprise folk duo First Aid Kit. Their third studio album Stay Gold was released on June 6th this year and features ten tracks (with the addition of a further track on the Japanese version of the release entitled Brother)

The first single from the album was released on March 31st and opens the album. My Silver Lining benefits from the orchestral arrangement it is given and shows a strong string accompaniment alongside a soft drum beat and acoustic guitar line (it is not clear from listening whether this is in fact an acoustic guitar line or autoharp use). Johanna and Klara's vocals blend well together and their harmonies are very strong, contributing to the overall success of the track.

This single was followed by the release of Cedar Lane on May 6th. With a slower pace than My Silver Lining the track also has a softer production, mainly led by acoustic guitar or autoharp (again it is not clear which is used). Lyrics such as "I still remember how you used to say, something good will come out of this" and "how could I break away from you" add to the slightly mournful nature of the track. Unfortunately not one of my favourite tracks on the album, it can feel slightly too mournful at points.

Title track Stay Gold is one of the strongest on the album. The solid drum beat throughout the verses keeps the track travelling at a good pace and the production increases nicely with the addition of more instruments in the chorus - without overpowering Johanna and Klara's vocals. 

Waitress Song is another impressive track. The production grows and fades throughout and makes for a melodically interesting track. Lyrics such as "see my baby, he left me and I don't feel like it tonight" and "I could move to small town and become a waitress, say my name was Stacy and I was figuring things out" create a relatable image that then develops throughout the song.

Track listing....
1) My Silver Lining
2) Master Pretender
3) Stay Gold
4) Cedar Lane
5) Shattered & Hollow
6) The Bell
7) Waitress Song
8) Fleeting One
9) Heaven Knows
10) A Long Time Ago

Recommend tracks....My Silver Lining, Stay Gold, Master Pretender, Waitress Song

I am very impressed by this album. I have, admittedly, never listened to much First Aid Kit in the past but I know that I certainly will from now on! I would definitely recommend listening to this album and I am sure the duo will draw many new fans in. It is worth noting that listeners won't hear lots of rocky, upbeat tracks, this is firmly rooted in Americana. 

There is a large number of tour dates in various different countries on the duo's website (which you can access here)