'The Lion's Roar' Proves the Band's Name To Be True.
First Aid Kit are a small, but fast-growing, indie folk band from Sweden. The band consists of sisters Johanna and Klara Söderberg. The band's sound is very acoustic, and feel-good, masterfully accompanied by the hauntingly harmonised voices of the sisters. Despite the generally 'cheerful' feel to the songs, some of the songs have quite hard hitting and disturbing lyrics.
The album kicks off with the title song, and lead single, The Lion's Roar. The track opens with a slow, yet gripping, guitar strumming before introducing Johanna's simply flawless voice, hollering: "Now the pale morning sings of forgotten things, she plays the tune for those who wish to overlook the fact that they've been decieved by those who preach, and pray and teach, but she falls short and the night explodes in laughter". When the chorus arrives, the music becomes more advanced and the second beautiful voice of Klara joins in. From here on, percussion is introduced and the album is off to it's true start. The Lion's Roar is a beautiful listen, perfect to relax to in the sun, before bed or practically any other time.
Everybody's favorite song, and second single, then follows. Emmylou opens with a much more immediately capturing tune that will insticively cause the listener to sway their shoulders.
In the Hearts of Men, is the album's third track, and by far one of the most dramatic. "In the hearts of men, and the arms of mothers, and the parts we play to convince others". This track really shows the diversity of the sister's songwriting abilties as they are able to combine powerful uses of metaphors, and very literal language like Kimya Dawson and the Juno soundtrack. The bridge, which literally consists of harmonised "La, la, la" is one of the highlights of the album.
Blue. My overall favorite on the album. The lyrics are a lot more literal on this one, and it's the "happiest" song on the album, phonetically. However, the lyrics are so haunting and chilling... it is so capturising. "You're just a shell of the former you, that stranger in the mirror, oh, that's you. Why do you look so blue?" Soon followed by the absolute best lyrics on the entire album: "And the only man you ever loved, who you thought was gonna marry you died in a car accident when he was only 22. Then you just decided love wasn't for you. And every year since then has proved it to be true." The fascinating contrast between the lyrics and sound of this song truly make it the best on this album.
This Old Routine is an incredibly beautiful song about a how couples get themselves into boring routines. The man in the story questions why he still loves the other half, but when he looks at her he just knows that he does. "This old routine will drive you mad, it's just a mumble never spoken out loud. And sometimes you don't even know why you love her, but you look at her now and you see why". Another stand-out classic for the band, the realism of the song somehow makes you realise more about life.
The sixth song, To a Poet, has also become a favorite among fans. The intro consists of haunting oo's with a fast paced guitar picking. The lyrics are, again, very literal, until the chorus arrives. Speaking of which, the harmonising voices of the line's: "Now I miss you more than I can take and I will surely break, and every morning I wake, God it is the same. But there's nothing more to it, I just get through it". Is one of the most beautiful things on this album.
I Found a Way. A more metaphoric approach to dealing with love, and the complications it comes with. The melody of the song is very sweet, despite the again rather haunting lyrics. A nice listen.
"A child will die that nobody embraces". Dance to Another Tune. Most definitely, without a doubt, the most haunting and disturbing track on the album. When I first heard this song, I was truly mesmerized and couldn't help but replay it endlessly. The absolutely stunning chorus that emphasizes the talent of the two sisters will take your breath away. Chills will run down your spine and you may find goosebumps on your arms. As if the song wasn't fantastc enough, following the words: "Will you dance to another tune?" comes a change in the music, and sure enough, it changes to a different tune. The change in the music is simply gorgeous, and includes the girls literally singing "ba, ba, ba, ba, ba" like a distorted children's show theme song. An absolute stand-out on the album. A song to be proud of.
New Year's Eve is a sweet song to listen to, however I will admit that it's a song I don't listen to often. Nonetheless, the harmony is as fitting and capturing as every other track, and the lyrics return to being literal. This song could be considered boring to non-fanatics, but if you are into the band then it's absolutely beautiful.
King of the World is the final track on the album, and it goes out with a bang. Featuring a mysterious male voice, the song will make you want to dance around a campfire in the middle of a forest with strangers you met whilst on a hike. The subtle female empowerment song is filled with fun and, as always with FAK, meaningful lyrics. "I'm the queen of nothing, I'm the king of the world". A song about happiness and forgetting your troubles, it's a fantastic end to an incredible album. "my fake laugh would suddenly sound sincere".
A bonus track, entitled Wolf, is available on iTunes. A beautiful song that includes the girls chanting "Hey-yah, hey-yah!"... so of course it's amazing! The tribal-sounding song will again cause your shoulders to sway, and the chorus will remind you of some sort of indie-folk rap kind of thing... which is always fun!
The Lion's Roar is a flawless album that proves there is still some hope out there for music! Let's say goodbye to these awful chart-topping artists that don't write their own music and sing about insignificant things. First Aid Kit literally are a first aid kit, here to save and heal us from the bad music in this world. Thank you for the bandages, Johanna and Klara... We need them.
May 20th, 2013 at 06:24am
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