There’s still plenty of the rustic, new-age hippy charm in First Aid Kit’s appearance, but the one thing that’s noticeable as they launch into ‘Wolf’ from their 2012 album The Lion’s Roar is that there is a new swagger in place. Sisters from Stockholm, Johanna and Clara, feature a notable shift in presentation in the form of Johanna’s move to bass guitar from keyboard/synth. Furthermore, their music seem to now slither with a hitherto unexplored groove; bobbing up and down and raising a casual two fingered salute to those who might yet still think of them as winsome young ingénues.
With their new album recorded and in the bag – albeit release date unknown – they treat audiences to an excavation of their catalogue. And even a new song too. The dulcet tones of their sibling harmonies wash over the fields at Glastonbury like a soothing tonic.
Even when anger arises, such as on recent single release – the stylistic aberration/departure – ‘You Are The Problem Here’, there is a measure of melody always safely in place. These are troubling times, and the socially conscious/heartfelt pleas from these sisters is a welcome anecdote. They might not be a panacea, but they more than live up to their band moniker.
Whilst they dig deep into their own catalogue – which includes a heart stopping rendition of ‘Ghost Town’ – they also take time to dig out an old 70s classic. ‘The Gambler’ is tackled with vim, vigour and it’s fair to say that it is one big winner with the festival crowd. Promisingly, new song ‘It’s A Shame’ is quickly greeted like an old favourite. Unlike ‘You Are The Problem Here’, this is in keeping with the tone and format in which devotees of FAK are familiar.
Time and time again, the image that one is struck with is how these two are quickly resembling an all-female Swedish Simon & Garfunkel. The praise is meant in the highest of terms. They close out with the double whammy of old favourites and trademark songs, ‘Emmylou’ and ‘My Silver Lining’. Their rise is unstoppable and they are doing it on their own terms. Wonderful.