First Aid Kit

Stay Gold (Columbia)

Fun Fun Fun Fest 2014 Saturday Reviews

First Aid Kit

Stay Gold (Columbia)

Swedish sisters Johanna and Klara Söderberg's third LP and first for a major label carries a slightly darker, more mature perspective than 2012 breakout The Lion's Roar. Their Laurel Canyon harmonies still beguile, and Stay Gold strikes a wide, thick vein of polish and confidence. "I won't take the easy road," the sisters declare in opener "My Silver Lining," while the title track expands on the Robert Frost poem for a beautiful, if weary, meditation. Searching and want ripple throughout the album, from the easy gallop of "Master Pretender" to slower country tinge "Cedar Lane," but the duo also echoes the defiant and assured power of Neko Case on songs like "Shattered & Hollow" and "Waitress Song," the former bursting above a sparse arrangement and latter bolstered by vocals lingering in a high trembling harmony. Piano-and-strings-shaded closer "A Long Time Ago" likewise caps with a longing memory but no regret, the Söderbergs' eyes steadily looking forward through the past. (7:10pm, Orange stage)


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