firstaidkit

This, their third LP, sees Stockholm sisters Klara and Johanna Söderberg make their major label debut, smoothing the rough edges of a brand of cutesy indie folk that has won growing critical acclaim over the last couple of years. It’s always an interesting time for old school fans of a band (see The Black Keys’ catapult into the mainstream after signing for Warner Bros), but while innocence is an impossible quality to preserve, it’s troubling to see how every single ounce of the charm found on 2008’s ‘Drunken Trees’ EP or 2010’s comparatively lo-fi full-length ‘The Big Black and the Blue’ has been squeezed out of First Aid Kit’s art.

Having overseen 2012’s ‘The Lion’s Roar’, Bright Eyes’ Mike Mogis returns on production duties and seems determined to make this effort an even more painstakingly polished affair. Given that that record closed with a cosy sing-along featuring Conor Oberst and folk-by-numbers sibling troop the Felice Brothers, his success in that respect is quite the feat.

‘Stay Gold’ is the musical equivalent of a coffee table photo-book, offensive for its inoffensiveness. When you tune into the faux Midwestern accents and Americana-lite lyrical totems on singles ‘Cedar Lane’ and ‘My Silver Lining’ you may want to have a bucket on hand. That said, Columbia and the Söderbergs’ collective coffers should benefit immensely when the car manufacturers finally come knocking. ‘Stay Gold’ should shift a decent haul of Nissans.

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