Listen to this track by Scandinavian country-folk-indie duo and close-harmony sirens First Aid Kit. It’s “Silver Lining”, a lead single as taken from this year’s album Stay Gold, their third.
Drawing from a love of acts ranging from Bright Eyes to the Carter Family, First Aid Kit is made up of sisters Johanna and Klara Söderberg, both of Enskede, a borough of Stockholm. Their sound draws from traditions of early country music that’s pretty far removed from what listeners might expect from a couple of Swedes in their early twenties, having started performing together and even writing songs by the time they were in their early teens. And that’s another unexpected dimension to their music; they work within a tradition that values experience that comes with age, and manage to pull it off despite their tender years.
Basically, everything about this band is unexpected, which besides their obvious natural talent may be why they’ve been able to get to work with luminaries like Patti Smith, Fleet Foxes, and Conor Oberst of Bright Eyes. So what does this song illustrate in keeping with the traditions in which they’re hooking into, and the strengths of the band in general? Read more
In listening to Elliott Smith’s XO last night, and again this morning, I was struck by the beauty of the track “Independence Day”, which has been playing in my mind rather pleasantly since.
Here’s a clip of Elliot Smith with the accompanying song to give you an idea of what I mean.
The fact that Smith died violently by his own hand makes me wonder whether or not thoughts of this affects the way people hear his music – that for all of it’s melodic charm, it is the product of a disturbed mind. In my view, that’s not the point. Sure, I think that there’s darkness lurking underneath most of the material Smith put out. But I think the beauty of it overcomes any intentions he might or might not have had when making it. I think this is true of all art which is worth considering; that the art should always be considered bigger than the artist.
What do you think, good people?
Jungian radio has been hard at work!
Here’s a clip of Guided By Voices and their tune ‘Everywhere With Helicopter’, which has taken up residence in my head today. The song is featured on the band’s 2002 album Universal Truths & Cycles album.
Guided By Voices of course is captained by Robert Pollard who used the name as a vehicle for his prolific songwriting output. This is my favourite by GBV as it passes the rip-up-the-seats litmus test for rock songs. I love the uncoiling guitar solo, the superb bassline, the punishing drums. The Pollard approach seems to be about throwing ideas up against the wall to see if they stick. Sometimes, it’s a bit hit-and-miss. But the attempt sometimes pays off. And sometimes, this is what you need in your life – to hear the attempt. And this time, GBV hits it square in the nuts!