(Leah Edwards is a musician, writer, blogger and all told just an inspiration lightning rod when it comes to all things creative. Oh, and she’s also Cause A Scene’s latest contributor. Welcome aboard, Leah!)
If you can’t help but love vintage vocal stylings and revel in music from Emmylou Harris to Karen Carpenter and Carly Simon dancing in harmony with the melodies of Joni Mitchell, here’s a duo you must experience.
First Aid Kit, the Swedish sister duo comprised of Johanna and Klara Soderberg, literally stopped me in my tracks when I first heard their song Blue. I was instantly fixated, and I absorbed it like a sponge. There is something within their tightly woven harmonies and soaring/haunting melodies that pulled me into their musical force field. Their thoughtful, sonorous songs combined with up tempo ramblin’ tunes have a great balance to keep you listening, and it may be hard to pull yourself away. There is something about a purely gifted songstress expressing her craft that can captivate an audience for 3 brief minutes. Whether listening to a recording or watching a live performance, the ability to hush a crowd through the power of a well-written song will always intrigue me. Their music will submerge you deeper into a mysterious world of desert sunsets, forsaken cabins, creamy lace dresses, old wooden guitars, wandering troubadours and various characters from days long ago.
A revival of the 60’s and 70’s Americana style, they are younger versions of some of my parent’s and consequently my own favorite artists from that era including Linda Rondstadt and Karen Carpenter. In a different vein, their songs have also been compared to new folk such as the Fleet Foxes and Joanna Newsom. Their cover of Fleet Foxes’ Tiger Mountain Pleasant Song received many views on YouTube as well as other various original songs performed in a Swedish forest. One can’t help but fall for their innocent, longing little faces and beautiful rotund eyes as they romantically sing in a setting from long lost lore. These ladies later had the opportunity to actually perform with the Fleet Foxes at a show in the Netherlands.
The sibling aspect of the group has instant connection to family and warmth. I am likely not alone when I express my intrigue for family bands and the way genetics have a way of producing unrivaled harmony. The melodies cut through the air and melt like honey in your heart. These sisters become little reincarnated old country stars in their song titled “Emmylou.”
~I’ll be your Emmylou
And I’ll be your June
If you’ll be my Gram
And my Johnny too
No I’m not askin’ much of you
Sing with me~
But let’s bring it all back home to our beloved Nashville scene. These Swedish sisters were spotted by the illustrious Jack White during one of their performances in Nashville. White approached them, requesting that they record a song on his Third Man Records series. They are also making their footprint on the folk music scene, with guest appearances on their album, the Lion’s Roar, by the likes of Conor Oberst and the Felice Brothers.
The southern gal in me feels an intimate connection to Folk-Americana songs tinged with vintage country charm. When you hear them, you feel home. When you sing them, you’re transported to a cabin somewhere enveloped in a flannel shirt, sitting around a campfire with well-lit souls. I was hooked on these two at first listen. I hope the same for you.
The sisters Soderberg hit the American soil soon with stops from coast to coast, including our lovely city, Nashville on October 5. Check out the dates below along with their new video for “Blue.”
28 – Newport, R.I. @ Newport Folk Festival
31 – Pittsburgh, Pa. @ Altar
3-5 – Chicago, Ill. @ Lollapalooza
25 – Ann Arbor, Mich. @ The Blind Pig*
26 – Toronto, Ontario @ Danforth Music Hall*
28 – Boston, Mass. @ Royale Nightclub*
29 – New York, N.Y. @ Irving Plaza*
30 – Brooklyn, N.Y. @ Music Hall of Williamsburg*
2 – Washington, D.C. @ Sixth & I Historic Synagogue*
3 – Asheville, N.C. @ Orange Peel*
4 – Atlanta, Ga. @ Buckhead Theatre*
5 – Nashville, Tenn. @ 3rd & Lindsley*
6 – St. Louis, Mo. @ Firebird*
8 – Omaha, Neb. @ Waiting Room*
9 – Lawrence, Kan. @ The Granada Theatre*
13 – Dallas, Tex. @ The Kessler Theater*
16 – Los Angeles, Calif. @ The Fonda Theatre*
17 – San Francisco, Calif. @ The Fillmore Auditorium*
19 – Portland, Ore. @ Roseland Theater*
*- with Dylan LeBlanc