ACL Interview: First Aid Kit
Friday, 1:15pm, Honda stage
"I'm really happy you can hear the respect in our music."
Johanna Söderberg's being beamed to my office from Stockholm, but I can scarcely sense an accent. As First Aid Kit with her sister Klara, 19 to Johanna's 21, she's half of the most exciting new folk act in recent memory. The singer's also pretty keen on respect. The Söderbergs' songs are plucked out of the long tradition of American roots music.
"While everyone else was listening to Beyoncé, we were listening to the Carter Family," explains Johanna. "I feel like I should've been born 50 years ago."
Thinking you arrived at the wrong juncture of history remains a textbook growing pain, but the siblings turn that itch into great songwriting. January's sophomore full-length, The Lion's Roar, comes covered from head-to-toe with unshakable tunes. Stormy and wrathful ("Dance to Another Tune"), impossibly fresh-faced ("Emmylou"), it feels much older than the earnest Söderberg.
"We've really been overwhelmed with how positive the reception has been," admits Johanna.
Asked how Klara and she will remember 2012, she says she doesn't know because it's still all happening so fast. That feeling should become pretty familiar as the years pile on, but for now, First Aid Kit remains a start-up whose father cooks all their meals on the road and drives the tour van.
"He loves driving on American roads," laughs Johanna. It's a good sound.