Preview: First Aid Kit at The Anthem
First Aid Kit makes their return to Washington, D.C. on Monday, Sept. 10 in support of the new album “Ruins,” and be sure to amplify your expectations. These aren’t the same two young women you may have seen before, and if you haven’t seen them yet, what are you waiting for?
Swedish sisters Johanna and Klara left school as teenagers to pursue their musical dreams. Accompanied on the road by their father, the gamble paid off. They toured the world and met Conor Oberst, which lead to an introduction to Mike Mogis (who produced “Lion’s Roar”). They also met and recorded with Jack White in Nashville, had songs featured on TV shows, gathered accolade after award after accolade, appeared on Letterman, and performed “Dancing Barefoot” for Patti Smith herself (who gave the duo a tearful standing ovation). If all of that wasn't enough, they toured and recorded constantly from 2008 to 2015, growing up unconventionally on the road.
Looking forward to a break from touring and recording, Klara settled in Manchester with her then fiancé. Johanna returned to Stockholm. No longer teenagers the two twenty-somethings found themselves starting again and asking themselves the existential questions every twenty-something struggles with – what am I doing and how did I get here and what do I do next? A self-reckoning emerged, and then heartbreak when Klara’s relationship ended.
The result, of course, is an album full of the reflections and rubble of a life that is lived – with heartbreak, anguish, re-connections, and redemption. And it has the hauntingly pretty sound we’ve come to rely on from these two sisters. No longer do they echo the sentiments of their music heroes, they’ve got skin in the game now. The album rings with honesty and artistry and, despite the heartache, is a joy to listen to.
This is a more mature First Aid Kit, but no less gorgeous to listen to. You can expect the full range of emotive harmonies at their Anthem show next week. The set list is likely to include a balanced mix of old favorites and new material, and likely a cover or two (perhaps Fleet Foxes? Or Kate Bush? Or that Patti Smith mentioned earlier?) It is a show not to be missed.
In support of First Aid Kit is Australian indie-folk pop artist Julia Jacklin. A classically trained singer, Jacklin has toured extensively for two years in support of her first full length album “Don’t Let the Kids Win” and has a new one in the works. Inspired by musicians as diverse as Doris Day, Britney Spears and Bjork, Fiona Apple and Mountain Man, Julia developed her style through self-study and collaboration, studying the musicians she admired and finding her own voice through their example. Her critically acclaimed album “Don’t Let the Kids Win” is an examination of growing up, an excoriation of the anxiety around getting older, and a tender reminder that we’re all in this life together. This is an artist that is only just getting started so don’t dilly dally and arrive late. You’ll want to be able to say “I saw her when.”
Have we convinced you to come join us on the 10th to enjoy the sweet sounds of First Aid Kit? Grab your tickets here, and come enjoy the show with us!