“The Lion’s Roar” From First Aid Kit, Sweden’s Answer To Emmylou And Alison Krauss.

first-aid-kit-lions-roarThe Lion’s Roar is the second album from Sweden’s First Aid Kit, comprising of sisters Klara and Johanna Söderberg, both of whom are barely into their 20s. After their debut The Big Black And The Blue from 2010, they naturally gravitated to America to record their sophomore effort, turning to Mike Mogis to produce it.

As well as being one of the three core members of Nebraska’s stellar Bright Eyes, where he serves as producer and multi-instrumentalist, Mogis has also worked on albums by the likes of Jenny Lewis and her band Rilo Kiley, and M Ward and his, She And Him.

While there are clear echoes of Jenny Lewis throughout The Lion’s Roar, it’s Nashville’s Caitlin Rose that most readily springs to mind, whose debut Own Side Now I reviewed here earlier.

As with Rose, there’s a world weariness to the songs here that somehow manages to be credible, not withstanding the unlikelihood that either of the manifestly jejune siblings could ever have gravitated beyond mere mischief in their brief lives. And if the songs here sound ever so slightly less lived-in that those on Own Side Now, that can probably be put down to the added difficulty of having to pen them in a foreign language.

What’s so beguiling about this album, as with Rose’s, is the alchemical marriage of a timeless musical tradition, with a vocal delivery that rings of unblemished innocence and, there’s no other word for it, purity. This potent combination is then deployed to lament a prematurely crushed spirit and a permanently broken heart. It’s a heady mix.

The boys from Pravda gave it an impressed 7.6 http://pitchfork.com/reviews/albums/16205-the-lions-roar/.

And the perceptive review there remarked with quiet surprise, that there aren’t too many girls who would try referencing Emmylou Harris and Gram Parsons as the basis for a chat up line, as they do here on the second track, Emmylou. It’s not so much that there aren’t too many who’d get away with it. There aren’t too many who would try it, full stop. But they do, and it’s bewitching.

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  1. […] (on vinyl of course) for the likes of Loretta Lynn, Wanda Jack­son, First Aid Kit (reviewed here), Jerry Lee Lewis, Tom Jones and Alabama Shakes (reviewed here) as well as duet­ing with Norah […]

  2. […] barely into their 20s, arrived at the begin­ning of the year. Reviewed by me ear­lier here, it’s a pitch-perfect con­coc­tion of dreamy Amer­i­cana, draped, care­fully, in the cloak […]

  3. […] played host to Wanda Jack­son, Laura Mar­ling, Loretta Lynn, First Aid Kit (reviewed ear­lier here) Drive By Truck­ers and Beck as well as reis­sues of Char­lie Pat­ton, Blind Willie McTell and […]

  4. […] they did with their sec­ond album The Lion’s Roar, reviewed ear­lier here, they’ve trav­elled to Omaha to hook up once more with Mike Mogis of Bright Eyes who takes up […]

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