First Aid Kit: Stay Gold - The Swedish duo First Aid Kit, comprised of sisters Johanna and Klara Söderberg , gained some recognition in 2008 after they uploaded their cover of Fleet Foxes’ ‘Tiger Mountain Peasant Song’ onto YouTube. Two years later, the sisters released their debut album The Big Black and the Blue in 2010. Now, with the release of their third studio album Stay Gold , First Aid Kit is continuing to make music with sweet harmonies and great melodies . The duo’s honeyed vocals and skilled songwriting help get through the hardships life throws our way by putting things into perspective with their enchanting and inspiring songs.
This 10-track album features many songs that are sure to awaken your spirits. The first track, ‘My Silver Lining,’ is like a beautiful daydream. The sounds of the violin and cello are so uplifting that listening to them practically makes my heart flutter. In addition, the song features encouraging lyrics such as, “Time races on/ And you’ve just gotta keep on keeping on”. The tambourine on the song seems to represent the sound of feet moving forward despite what lies ahead; It helps to add more meaning to the song.
Another song, ‘Master Pretender’, is an interesting listen as well. Even though the song is inherently folk, it seems to have an island vibe which is likely to put you in a relaxed mood.
The track ‘Waitress Song’ is one filled with many scenarios. The title of the song comes from the first verse: “I could move to a small town/ And become a waitress/ Say my name was Stacy/And I was figuring things out”. The song is filled with a bunch of “I could be” scenarios which all allude to the idea that “anything is possible”. It’s a song that lets you know that there is nothing wrong with reinventing yourself, just as long as you believe in yourself.
The song ‘Heaven Knows’ is more of an upbeat song that exemplifies the essence of the folk sound. With lyrics like, “You’ve lost yourself in others’/ Expectations of you/ Now you prefer this caricature before being true/ But you’re better than that/ You’re so much better than that/ I know you better than that”, the song explores the idea of how important it is to remain true to yourself.
Even though the album features songs that inspire others to be fulfilled, it also contains songs that are filled with hardships one must endure through life. The track ‘Stay Gold’ is a song that reinforces an important sentiment expressed in the poem “Nothing Gold Can Stay” by Robert Frost – “All good things come to an end.” Some lyrics that help express these thoughts are: “All of my dreams/ they fall and form a bridge /Of memories where I can’t get back to you”.
Another track that expresses a similar idea is ‘Cedar Lane,’ a song that reminds us of how time goes by so quickly and how some things never remain the same. The melancholy of the album rolls on with ‘Shattered & Hollow,’ which includes lyrics such as “I’d rather be broken than empty.”
The song, ‘The Bell,’ is a compelling track about mustering up the courage to walk away from a particular situation when you know it would be detrimental if you stayed. When First Aid Kit sings “How could I turn around?/Face the sound of the bell that chimes?/Ringing out, shrill and loud/To drag me back down,” they reveal that in order to remain honest to yourself, sometimes you need to cancel out the unwanted noise in your life.
The last track, ‘A Long Time Ago’ is one that speaks to your heart .The piano is absolutely beautiful. “I was the one/ You counted on/ But I was never the one for you/ Now I know/ I lost you a long time ago” – this line in particular makes the song quite touching. It definitely finishes off the album in a lovely way.
Stay Gold is a reflective album that has a personal way of relating to the ups and downs of life. Each song is nestled with enchanting harmonies, delightful melodies, and great life- lessons woven in asl well. These components make the whole album an absolute gem. First Aid Kit is a duo whose music seems to come from a place of sincerity, exploring various themes about life; Time goes on, the world keeps turning and life moves on. And, all of those things should be more of a reason for you to remain loyal to yourself and keep moving forward. It’s music that emphasizes the importance of perseverance. It’s music with a positive message, which is quite refreshing…9.2/10