“Must Listens” is a new feature series I’m launching on my column to highlight songs or albums by indie or alternative acts that aren’t necessarily new releases but are getting lots of buzz. This first installment features “The Lion’s Roar” by First Aid Kit.
If you live in Europe, you’re likely to be familiar with Swedish sister folk act First Aid Kit; if you live in the U.S., you might be less familiar. That’s a shame, since ironically this duo from Scandinavia is putting out some of the best Americana folk you can get your hands on these days. “The Lion’s Roar,” the title track from their January 2012 release (video below), is just one of many great examples of what I’m talking about.
First Aid Kit seems to be part of a growing trend for bands and acts across the Atlantic to draw influence from American folk. (Perhaps you’ve heard of Mumford and Sons?) While American music has been drawing from European influences for centuries, it now seems the tide is reversed, and our music is now inspiring people in the other direction.
Wherever the inspiration comes from, the fact is First Aid Kit is making music that is just plain great to listen to. One of the many “MySpace success stories,” they started putting stuff out when they were barely teenagers and growing their fan base online. Since then, they’ve performed at Lollapalooza, Austin City Limits Music Festival and a number of others across Europe. They’ve also appeared with Fleet Foxes and recorded with Jack White. They’re currently playing sold out tour dates across Europe.
The Lion’s Roar (the album, not the song) is the duo’s sophomore studio release, which hit No. 1 on the Swedish album charts and peaked at No. 35 in the U.K. The song below is one of my favorites on the record—simple, dark and haunting. Listen to it, and you’ll probably be humming it all day.
If you like what you hear, First Aid Kit’s music is available on iTunes. You can also order vinyl and CD versions through the band’s website.