First Aid Kit - Stay Gold - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

First Aid Kit - Stay Gold

by Greg Spencer Rating:9 Release Date:2014-06-09

After their previous album, The Lion’s Roar, received much critical acclaim, it would be easy to think that Swedish duo First Aid Kit may be quite casual in their approach to a third record in four years. With Stay Gold, there’s a familiar sense of melancholic joy and sorrow which co-exist continually. On one hand, this is slightly unsettling, but for the most part it's is compelling and endearing.

Opening track ‘My Silver Lining’ has the obvious country tones and is a simple song at heart; it just trundles along without any frills or fanciness but sets the tone of the record as one of contemplation rather than outlandishness or extroverted emotion. Sisters Johanna and Klara Söderberg harmonise beautifully on this record and, as on their previous release, their vocal relationship shows them to be a duo whose voices simply click perfectly.  

You can just imagine the sisters writing ‘Cedar Lane’ on the road with just an acoustic guitar in hand. It has real emotional pull, something which I personally don’t remember having felt a great deal with the last record from the duo. The Lion’s Roar was a great album but I don’t think I was as ever as entranced by it as by this record.

So, early on that song becomes a landmark and the quality never slumps at all, if anything the duo go from strength to strength. When you get to a song like ‘Heaven Knows’, you end up being completely transfixed by the Söderbergs. This song is an upbeat number which really breeds this hugely optimistic and youthful spirit that ultimately becomes the vibe of the entire album.

The album ends with the piano-led ‘A Long Time Ago’, on which the vocals sound like Lissie and the tone and lyrical content longs for better days but still retains a significant amount of hope for the future. That future looks brighter than ever for First Aid Kit and they deserve for this album to propel them into a wider consciousness. Stay Gold really is pure gold.   

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