First Aid Kit on the Obelisk Arena, Latitude Festival

Posted on July 27, 2012


written by Robert Pollard for Festival Republic

Great Swedish bands don’t roll readily off the tongue but First Aid Kit are really making their mark. This performance on the main Latitude stage was excellent, with swooping vocal harmonies and beautiful acoustic guitar central to their sound. The country with a five-star National Health Service now has a folk band they can be proud of too.

The three-piece are spearheaded by sisters Johanna and Klara who share vocal duties to devastating effect. Klara takes lead vocals and plays an acoustic guitar with a sweet tone. Johanna provides haunting backing vocals and dark synth sounds. It all comes together to make a very rich sound and one which delights the huge crowd gathered around the Obelisk Arena.

They explore an array of American and English folk influences, meaning they have plenty of tricks up their sleeve. With an obvious liking for Emmylou Harris and Gram Parsons – both name checked on the superb ‘Emmylou’ – their liking of more contemporary folk artists is also clear. They sit snugly in the pantheon of new age folksters; with Fleet Foxes inspired vocals and Laura Marling style drama – these are folk songs fit for the modern era.

‘Wolf’ is beautiful song, typical of the darker tracks in the band’s catalogue, it made for a stunning centre piece to their set. Closing track Lion’s Roar, which was one of the best songs of 2011, stirred the crowd and provided a fitting end to a solid show.

What started as a home-made demo tape sent to Swedish radio has led them to a world tour and two quality albums. First Aid Kit’s ascent shows little sign of abating and Sweden finally has an export capable of rivalling Ikea.

Posted in: Music