First Aid Kit- The Lion's Roar
As my boyfriend so eloquently put it, this album is a little 'front-loaded'. That is to say, in our opinion, the the first half of the album is better than the latter half. However, the distinctly Fairport Convention-esque folk-rock middle eight in track eight really got me smiling; but the first three tracks in particular are really quite lovely, with their pleasing melodies.
Is this down, partly, to the fact that, on listening to the CD in the car on short journeys around town, we rarely get past track three and are therefore not familiar with the rest of the songs? ;P Well I sat down this morning-before breakfast mind you (!)-to listen to the album in its entirety and give my verdict on the work as a whole.
To me, the intonations in the vocalists voices, the sometimes 'badly fitting' lyrics, the guitar (when, from time to time, it can be heard alone) and chord the progressions; along with the accents of the singers (although they're Swedish) put me in mind on Bob Dylan and sometimes Brandi Carlile.
Their sound is mostly country/folk which, despite having a certain familiarity, still sounds new and different. It feels like a mélange of styles and textures we already know, old and recent, with their own secret ingredient thrown in. To quote a lyric from track eight, Dance To Another Tune, theres nothing new under the sun'.
I'm going to give this album 3/5. I like it for all the reasons stated above: the recognition of influences of some of my favourite artists in these songs is, I think, the thing that really excites me. So, although I've been quite harsh about the lack of 'out and out' originality, I will say that their unique selling point is exactly that- how many other bands have encompassed so many of the already established folk and indie styles we know and love on one album? And as we all know, if something works well, keep doing it :)
Just briefly, one other thing I really like about First Aid Kit, is their use of harmonies. From the Andrews Sisters to The Civil Wars, anything with harmonies is sure to delight me.