Album Review First Aid Kit - The Big Black And The Blue

The vocal harmonies are delightful and belie their young age.

With their sparse folk arrangements and gorgeous vocal harmonies these two youngsters from Sweden are almost begging to be called a female Fleet Foxes, but without their own personalities being implanted onto ‘The Big Black And The Blue’ they fail to move beyond the shadow of their influences. Don’t get us wrong, this is far from being a bad record; if what you’re after is a gentle listen for a overcast Sunday then you can’t go wrong with First Aid Kit. Likewise, if folk music is your bag then there’s much to delight here.

Aside from the girls failing to transcend their influences (see how they sing in affected American accents?) this, their debut album, is an incredibly competent record. In particular the vocal harmonies are delightful and belie their young age. We don’t mean to sound patronising when we say this, but with the sisters are aged only 16 and 19 and have vocal talents that would be impressive no matter.

Where we are let down on ‘The Big Black And The Blue’ is that overall there’s a lack of variety. This does however mean that it is easier to pick out highlights: ‘Sailor Song’ particularly, which conjures up a more country atmosphere, all smoky and sultry. Others worth taking not of are ‘Ghost Town’, which stands out because of it’s use of accordion and ‘Heavy Storm’, which to these ears recalls Laura Marling.

This is only the duo’s first album and therefore we doubt that it is them at the height of their potential. The future holds brilliant things for First Aid Kit, but for now, unless folk is really your thing then sit back and consider what these girls could become, but don’t get too excited just yet.

 

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