The Big Black and the Blue

Wichita Recordings
Release date
26 Jan 2010
Running length
11 tracks
Running time


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    Track     Duration Listeners
1 In the Morning 2:36 58,090
2 Hard Believer 3:40 77,906
3 Sailor Song 2:44 57,797
4 Waltz for Richard 2:49 50,740
5 Heavy Storm 3:21 51,282
6 Ghost Town 4:47 64,741
7 Josefin 3:31 44,287
8 A Window Opens 4:22 40,527
9 Winter Is All Over You 3:40 50,662
10 I Met Up with the King 2:49 65,939
11 Wills of the River 4:20 37,772

About this album

Big-voiced Swedish sisters Klara and Johanna Söderberg make their intentions perfectly clear on MySpace: “We aim for the hearts, not the charts”. Commendable, but given the pressure on any artist to perform well commercially – different targets for different troupes, granted, but targets nonetheless – perhaps a little naively idealistic.

The Big Black & the Blue is, expectedly, not an album that will top any countdown this side of a dramatic and unforeseen folk revolution. First Aid Kit’s debut is all delicate picks and humble strums, where many girls its makers’ age – they were born in 1990 and 1993 – match their pulses to the skip-along sounds of the pop Top 40. Though the Söderbergs once sang along to Britney hits, their original fare is of the world-weary, heavy-hearted variety; disregard acknowledgment of their age and one could assume these voices sing from experience, not fanciful imagination.

It’s also tough to trace the roots of this material to Scandinavia’s fertile musical soil, as its primary touchstones are artists exclusively of stateside lineage – the bruised, soul-exposed lo-fi Americana of Bill Callahan; Cat Power’s spare, smoke-trail-detailed evocations; the soft-focus dynamics of Midlake and Fleet Foxes. As such questions can be posed, as to the ‘authenticity’ of First Aid Kit’s repertoire; but so finely accomplished is the sisters’ execution that doubts are soon dismissed.

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