First Aid Kit

The Lion’s Roar

You simply won’t find a more powerful piece of Americana than the title track on First Aid Kit’s new album. The Lions Roar is immense; dark skies over the open prairie, with distant, melancholy guitars giving way to a thundering chorus. It’s bleak, desolate and epic, the kind of song that Fleet Foxes only wish they could make.

Sisters Klara and Johanna Söderberg (who, despite their dustbowl-inflected vocals are Swedish) have said that they only do sad songs. But what’s really sad here is that the rest of this album fails to capture the power of the title track. Instead, we drift from the dusty plains to small-town America, and while the sisters might have a gift for imagery, it’s nowhere near as much fun to listen to. By the time the cheerfully moronic Blue rolls around, you’ll be aching for some more drama.

There are moments when this is recaptured – such as the haunting Wolf – but this could have been so much more. First Aid Kit is staggeringly talented, but we do wish they’d stick to what they’re good at.

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Rob Boffard