My Unexpected Love of Swedish Folk Music, Starring First Aid Kit

Photo by Steven Dewall, via Rolling Stone

If you've not heard of the band First Aid Kit, please change this immediately. You won't be upset that you did.

First Aid Kit is a folk sister-duo out of Sweden. In my mind, I never before made a connection between Sweden and folk music, but it's a thing. Honestly, there had not been a lot of thoughts about folk music running through my mind at all before First Aid Kit. It wasn't that I hated folk music - I have a few folk artists in my music collection - but I hadn't found a folk artist to carry me from "like" to "love," folk-musically-speaking. That's where First Aid Kit stepped in.

Photo by Getty Images, via The Hollywood Reporter

Imagine, if you will, the instrumentals of Mumford & Sons (before the banjo breaks it down, mind you) and the ethereal lyricism of Florence + the Machine. These two elements combined pretty accurately describe the sound of First Aid Kit. What sets First Aid Kit apart, though, is the harmonies that Johanna & Klara Söderberg can achieve. There must be something in their shared genetics that makes harmonies that perfect a reality. The songwriting in general is a bit somber - that's a folk songwriting thing, right? - but there are a few upbeat songs thrown into the mix to lighten the mood. First Aid Kit's songwriting is also unique in that it gives me the urge to go outside, not to run a mile or play soccer, but to just be outside and be a part of nature. When they're writing lyrics like this snippet below from "The Lion's Roar," how can you not want to head outdoors?

Sometimes I wish I could find my Rosemary Hill
I'd sit there & look at the deserted lakes & I'd sing
And every once in awhile I'd sing a song for you
That would rise above the mountains & the stars & the sea
And if I wanted it to, it lead you back to me

Photo via First Aid Kit (SE) Official
Find the time to head outside, find a sweet spot of grass to relax on, and give First Aid Kit a chance. I highly recommend listening to "The Lion's Roar" & "Wolf" to get you started.

Even if you're not a huge folk music fan, First Aid Kit just might change your mind.

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