Tag Archives: Stay Gold

The Long Wait For New Music

Seemingly, three years (or more) is the new wait period between new albums by artists these days. Gone are the fruitful six-eight month turn around in albums by many bands and artists that we considered great (and still do). (Inspiration must not come in cloudbursts anymore!) Today, I was thinking about new music from artists that we haven’t heard from in quite some time. One of them is First Aid Kit.

Now, know that I’m not knocking a band for their extended wait periods. Rather, I just like new music from bands that I love. And I hate waiting three to four  LONG years for something new. Even so, I’m usually rewarded with a classically great album when they do come out. But that wait!

First Aid Kit released their last album, Stay Gold, on June 10, 2014. We’re at the three year mark. Amazingly, they have toured that album successfully for the duration. They’re currently on a tour in Sweden, England, Norway, Belgium, Netherlands, Switzerland, and an October taping in Austin, TX for Austin City Limits. And then there’s Heartless Bastards, who hasn’t released an album since their June 16, 2015 set, Restless Ones. And it was three years from their 2012 Arrow release. To be fair, Erika Wennerstrom has a solo set coming soon. So, that helps.

Honestly, I’m just bitching because time frames have changed dramatically since I was younger. There’s no longer an industry need to push new music into our hearts on a fast track. But unfortunately, too many bands disappear without a trace because of the long waits.


Review: Stay Gold – First Aid Kit

FirstAidKit Stay GoldFirst Aid Kit, or, as most people know, the sister duo from Sweden who has been making some waves these days, have their latest album on the calendar. Stay Gold follows the band’s immensely popular The Lion’s Roar from 2012. The Lion’s Roar has “Emmylou”, the band’s biggest hit. that song is easily a deserving attention-getter. You don’t even have to know the band to be attracted to the song when you first hear it. it just has that charm.

Scheduled for June 10, Stay Gold is the band’s first foray on a major label. The album is tied to Columbia Records, which means that it will get plenty of distribution muscle, although really, that’s not as important too much any more. I picked up my copy on June 4 at the band’s show at Park West in Chicago.  Previous to that, First Aid Kit had streamed the entire ten-track album via NPR Radio.

On first listen, the beauty and near perfection of The Lion’s Roar interferes with the ten tracks on Stay Gold. But not for long. Stay Gold is a photo-finish to The Lion’s Roar that could even surpass it once the music from The Lion’s Roar clears out. Stay Gold brings a deeper richness to their song-writing talent. Their ages dictate that they should be writing songs about being a youngster in this grand world of ours. But they opt to introspectively look at the themes of loss, sadness, departure, and other such mature topics. With the magic of their music, they approach those themes with class and depth.

The pre-release single, “My Silver Lining” is great. It has radio written all over it. At this point, there is no need to explore the album’s songs because every one is a gem. I do prefer the last song, “A Long Time Ago”. But in no way does that *slight* preference dictate that I skip ahead to it , or listen to it one more time than the rest. Stay Gold is so good that it can be listened to from track one to track ten.

Going from an upload to YouTube at their start to this Columbia Records album is – all by itself – a testament to the girls’ talents. Me? I cannot recommend Stay Gold enough to you.

Release Date: June 10, 2014
Label: Columbia Records
Availability: CD, DD, LP   

–Matt Rowe

Sweden’s Folk/Rock Sister Duo, First Aid Kit, To Release New Album In June

FirstAidKit Stay GoldIt’s no secret that I’m a huge fan of the Swedish Folk/Rock sister duo known as First Aid Kit. Their last album is something to listen to.  In fact, I STILL have it in my regular rotation, many months after first hearing it.  For those needing a primer, First Aid Kit started in Sweden when sisters Johanna, and Klara Söderberg decided to make their gorgeous folk compositions available to a wider audience other than just themselves.  And we’re a lucky audience for it.

They released their first set of music in 2008 in a stunning 8-track EP called Drunken Trees.  The Drunken Trees EP contains an attention grabbing cover of “Tiger Mountain Peasant Song” (Fleet Foxes) generating a fair amount of press and excitement over the new duo.  In 2010, they released their first full-length, The Big Black And The Blue, proving that the two girls from Sweden were the real thing when it came to song composition talents and their ability to present it in beautiful harmonies.

In 2012, following the pre-album single “The Lion’s Roar”, First Aid Kit released their second full-length, The Lion’s Roar, which contained not one filler track within its ten songs. In the final song, “King Of The World”, the sisters invited Conor Oberst (Bright Eyes) to contribute vocals to that song. Overall, if you haven’t heard The Lion’s Roar, you’re missing out on one of the more exciting albums in recent years.

On June 10, the sisters will release their third full-length album, Stay Gold.  They have preceded its arrival with a new song from the album called “My Silver Lining”.  It is located at SoundCloud (audio embedded below, courtesy of SoundCloud and First Aid Kit). If you want the lyrics to follow along, click through to the SoundCloud host and enjoy the song further.  If you were to ask me, the song is brilliant, and indicates an album that will be well-received.

StayGoldFirstAidKitLP  StayGold CD with Lithograph

Stay Gold will release in CD in multiple versions that includes a 14″ x 20″ lithograph and a tote bag, one without a tote bag (but with the lithograph), and one with just the CD.  In addition, there will be several editions of LP, all pressed in gold-colored vinyl. The same inclusion choices found for the CD will also be available on the LP version.  The LP version will include a download card for the MP3s. The Deluxe Collector’s Bundle (with tote bag, LP, MP3s, lithograph), provides a signed lithograph.