First Aid Kit: Drunken Trees EP

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First Aid Kit 

Written By:

Brad Kelly

20th February 2009
At 14:44 GMT

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Finally arriving on these shores just under a year after it was released in the band's home country of Sweden, First Aid Kits Drunken Trees EP is something of a question mark.

The group consists of just two members; Johanna and Klara Soderberg and they both happen to be sisters (a startling 19 and 16 years old respectively). This fact alone changes the perspective from which to review the album. Its initial negatives are looked at in a new light and dampened by the fact that, well, these girls are just so young. Its amateur bones are forgiven for the natural talent these two obviously possess. 

When the two sing in unison, it becomes apparent how in sync they are. Isolated, they sound inoffensive and slightly untrained; together they sound like the wind, breezing and flowing in and out of itself, entwining itself around a second billowing gust.

Our Own Pretty Ways has folk running through its veins and plays out with just an acoustic strum and the strength of the priorly-mentioned dual vocals. One sings prominent and forefront, keeping rhythm flawlessly whilst the other croons in a subdued manner in the background, adding a sense of vocal depth and echo. It's ridiculously effective and shows the power that this dual-blooded twosome is capable of.

Tracks bounce between sparse atmosphere and a warm nature and often include the two in a singular track. The music may be simple but it effectively conjures the necessary emotions to relate to what's being heard. 

There's a hint of Regina Spektor laced throughout the EP (mostly in the hard to pin accent that pops up from time to time) but it sticks quite strictly to older folk structures instead of Spektors often random tangents. First Aid Kit's output stays mostly inside the acoustic boundaries, which is understandable but still rather disappointing; We would have loved to hear something a little move diverse from these two. 

Yes it sounds slightly amateurish and yes the production style could have been substantially improved but the fact that it isn't as perfect as it could have been adds a certain character to the music and compliments the sound the sisters strive to achieve. It's no For Emma, Forever Ago but its certainly enough to satiate most peoples new found folk addiction as well as making a fantastic first impression within the musical world. Promising is an understatement. 

Rating:  8 / 10

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