Tuesday, June 8th, 2010
A Window Opens
An introduction to First Aid Kit
Eva EdsjöIt’s not an unusual tale for young acts to be discovered by veteran ones, but when the youthful protagonists of the story are Klara and Johanna Söderberg of Sweden’s First Aid Kit and the mentor is Karin Dreijer Andersson of the decidedly strange and oft creepy Knife and Fever Ray, it’s understandable that one’s imagination drifts to more Brothers Grimm territory. The truth isn’t all that sinister, though, as the Söderberg’s brother attended the same kindergarten as Andersson’s children and that connection led to the duo’s debut EP – 2009’s Drunken Trees – to be released on Andersson’s own label in Sweden before being picked up by Wichita in the UK and abroad.
Their proper full-length The Big Black & The Blue followed last month, and like its predecessor its a gorgeously out-of-time folk album built around the unconventional yet riveting voices of the two teenage sisters. Rich, rangy and emotive, their voices sound as though their owners were raised in some lost range of the Appalachians hidden under a nordic glacier and for all their individual quirks, intertwine in stunning, intricate harmony the way that only siblings can. Their material is perfectly matched to their delivery; acoustic and spare with just the right amount of embellishment and a world-weary lyricism that’s at odds with their tender ages but typically Scandinavian in tone. Their work isn’t as sophisticated as it could be or should be to be hailed as a great record, but keeping in mind that they are still just in their teens, it’s a remarkably assured work that can only get better.
First Aid Kit are currently in the midst of their first North American tour, and will be in Toronto this Saturday – June 12 – for a free in-store at Criminal Records at 4PM and a proper show at the Rivoli later that night. They’re keeping a tour diary for Filter and were interviewed by The Georgia Straight. And reaching back a bit, there’s a Take-Away Show with the sister act.
The Line Of Best Fit interviews The Radio Dept., who are about to re-release Clinging To A Scheme on limited-edition (1000 pieces) white vinyl on June 16. I know everyone goes on about how vinyl sounds great – which it does – but as the owner of a copy from the first run of vinyl, I can say that Clinging sounds AMAZING on vinyl.
The National Post reports that The Raveonettes will be releasing a compilation of b-sides and rarities this Fall, followed by a new studio album in early 2011. They will be at NXNE next week opening up for Iggy & The Stooges at Yonge-Dundas Square on the evening of the 19th.
Stereogum points the way to not one but two new Fanfarlo videos – though for the same song. “Fire Escape” gets the choose-your-own-adventure treatment with a ceiling cat version and a basement cat version.
Stream: Teenage Fanclub / Shadows
Handsome Furs have found themselves with a free night and will be playing Lee’s Palace on June 23; tickets are $16.50 in advance.
Los Angeles’ Autolux return with their first record in six years with Transmit Transit on August 3, and will follow that up with a tour that brings them to Lee’s Palace on August 24, tickets $17.50. The first MP3 from the new album is available to download PWYC-style – the track below is from their first record.
The Horseshoe gets all Merge-y on August 28 when Lou Barlow and Wye Oak come to town. Both have new digital EPs out as of today – Barlow with the digital-only = Sentridoh III and Wye Oak with My Neighbour/My Creator. Pitchfork has details on the Barlow release and full tour dates, as well as an MP3.