First Aid Kit
Stockholm, Sweden's First Aid Kit is confirmed to release their sophomore full-length album The Lion's Roar on January 24th, 2012 via Wichita Recordings.
The follow up to last year's highly-praised debut LP The Big Black & The Blue, The Lion's Roar finds sisters Klara and Johanna Söderberg at their finest, singing bittersweet songs that frequently juxtapose sadness and beauty. The title track opener is a glorious, punchy waltz and the achingly lovely "Emmylou" is a wistful swell of acoustic guitar, pedal steel and piano, over which Klara's bell-clear voice name-checks heroes Ms. Harris, Gram Parsons, Johnny Cash, and June Carter. Filled with exquisite harmonies and coated with a deceptively playful patina, "Blue" is among the album's most upbeat tracks, while the gentle "To A Poet" comes to an elegant, cinematic close of soaring strings. Final track "King Of The World" brings The Lion's Roar to an exuberant end, all handclaps, fiddle, accordion, and horns - also featuring Conor Oberst on the last verse and instrumentals by The Felice Brothers (who happened to roll through town during the recording session). Throughout the album, the Söderbergs' evocative, preternatural harmonies and remarkable songwriting take centerstage, expanding upon the already accomplished storytelling shown on their debut.
First Aid Kit recorded The Lion's Roar with producer Mike Mogis (of Bright Eyes and Monster Of Folk; producer of Cursive, Lightspeed Champion, Pete Yorn, and many others) in April and May at his ARC Studios in Omaha, NE. In addition to Klara (vocals, guitar) and Johanna (vocals, autoharp, keys), the album features their father Benkt on bass and Mattias Bergqvist on drums, while Mogis, Nate Walcott (Bright Eyes), and a cast of Omaha-based musicians further round out the sound.
Earlier this year, First Aid Kit released a Third Man Records Blue Series 7-inch that featured covers of Buffy Sainte-Marie's "Universal Soldier" and the classic blues standard "It Hurts Me Too," recorded with Jack White at his request in his Nashville-based Third Man Studios. The Big Black & The Blue, recorded with their father at their home studio, was released in May 2010 and earned praise from AOL Music's Spinner blog, NPR's All Songs Considered, Nylon, and SPIN, among others, eventually landing on HearYa, Nylon, and PasteMagazine.com's 'Best of 2010' lists. In the past year, First Aid Kit has performed at the Austin City Limits festival, CMJ Music Marathon, and SXSW in addition to touring the US twice and making their way around Australia. The band first gained attention as teenagers around their 2008 debut EP, Drunken Trees, which was released initially on The Knife-owned label Rabid (re-released by Wichita in 2009).
First Aid Kit - who recently performed a moving rendition of Patti Smith's "Dancing Barefoot" at the Polar Music Prize awards ceremony - has also announced two US headlining shows in November: on the 8th at The Troubadour in Los Angeles and on the 16th at the Mercury Lounge in New York. The band is on the road now supporting Bright Eyes - they perform at the House Of Blues in Myrtle Beach, SC tonight - and will support fellow Swede Lykke Li on her US tour in November as well.