First Aid Kit @ Mercury Lounge, 11/16/11
After their show at Mercury Lounge on Wednesday night, I confirmed First Aid Kit is the best indie secret in existence. Paradoxical for their clumsy mannerisms that complement mature lyrics, this innocent duo writes lyrics way beyond their years. Admittedly “Tangerine” was written when Johanna was 14 years old about a husband seeing another woman. “That’s what I was thinking about at that age” she said with her amazing Swedish sarcastic humor. And they need not a light, camera, or action – their sound alone is brilliant and speaks for itself, and at this show the crowd knew it and soaked up every last note because of it.
I could easily pick two favorite moments from this intimate show. “Ghost Town,” so eloquently named with its haunting sound, featured the sisters singing somberly to a sad acoustic tune in the dark, with the entire crowd chiming in respectfully. The other was “Lion’s Roar,” a rebelliously The Doors-like jam session involving a keyboard, their enchanting voices, and slow motion head banging. In addition to sounding amazing, both of these songs separated the novices from the new fans – as the fans who know what a gem they are already could mimic every word.
Other amazing tunes played were “Wolf Mother,” “Heavy Storm,” and “Waltz For Richard” which they jokingly said was not for Richard Gere. “Emmylou” displayed their vocals well, and was definitely a crowd pleaser with its sing song lyrics “I’ll be your Emmylou and I’ll be your June/If you’ll be my gram and my Johnny too.” The nature like imagery that carries through in nearly all of their songs is fabulous and goes so well with the erie folk indie sound that almost sounds just that – naturey. Just when we thought it was over, the girls exited the stage only to return seconds later stating dryly, “That was awkward. We were right there and had to pretend not to hear you so we could do an encore.”
Between their intense sound that will haunt you way past the end of the show — in a good way — and their endearing personalities, these young Swedes promise to blaze an amazing trail.