By Brian Chidueme |Staff Writer|
Swedish teenage sisters Johanna and Klara Soderberg are here to prove that folk music still carries relevance in music culture today with their new album The Lion’s Roar.
Hailing from Rabid Records, under the name First Aid Kit, Johanna and Kiara have been creating a stir around the ‘net since 2008 with their first EP, Drunken Trees.
They have been gaining recognition ever since their debut, especially in time for their 2010 release of The Big Black & The Blue.
From then on, critics have been able to note shades of Bob Dylan and the Fleet Foxes in their work.
With The Lion’s Roar’s 10 tracks show that the Indie-folk duo’s signature sound of bittersweet harmony remains present throughout.
By blending traits of Indie music with different types of country and folk music as an influence, First Aid Kit does not disappoint.
The opening track, titled after the album, gives the vibe of a lone-star with the soul of a forlorn ballad.
Both of these qualities work in unison to create that Indie-country sound which effectively transitions over to “Emmylou,” an experiment at showing how to construct an effective love letter to Nashville.
The Lion’s Roar is home to a couple of First Aid Kit’s finest composed tracks of their career, most notably in the dreamlike “Blue.”
“I Found A Way” stands as the best track on the album. It showcases First Aid Kit taking their signature lone-star harmony to an apex in order to create one of their finest composed and best sounding tracks.
The eighth track, “Dance to Another Tune,” gives a post-apocalyptic coat in the album’s slowest and most melancholy tune. The song is also the strongest in terms of an homage to the sounds of the frontier.
Songs such as “In the Hearts of Men” and “King of the World” don’t disappoint and remain solid and worth a listen.
“King of the World” is an ode to the cross-country adventure that tells a story of the band (with Conor Oberst) traveling to different locales and meeting different people.
While it serves as an uplifting closer to a solid album, it feels like there doesn’t seem to be much innovation found.
Another area to note, that critics have praised First Aid Kit for the numerous moments in which the sisters harmonize together.
According to Simmy Richman of The Independent, he states that “First Aid Kit sing harmonies so close [together] that you couldn’t run a Band-Aid between them.”
In the case of the duo, how far they’ve come since their 2007 debut with the home-recorded “Tangerine” remains too good to be true.
The Lion’s Roar is rewarded with a 9 out of 10, because of how the band has taken their signature sound of bittersweet harmony.
The album soars to new heights while paying an effective homage to lone-star ballads of the past.