Entertainment

Street Sounds: Swedish sisters do Americana justice

Swedish sisters Klara and Johanna Soderberg capture the soul of Americana on their third album, Stay Gold.

The siblings sing with that uncanny character that blood breeds: two voices that follow each other with throwaway precision and keening harmonies.

The Soderbergs have also bucked the producer/pop singer star system that Idol-type shows and companies thrive on. They write their songs, sing them, play on them and zero in on a timeless zone of folk-rock with an intensity so natural it seems recognizable.

Some of the best interpreters of national musical styles are from outside the region, giving them the distance to re-imagine the landscape.

Stay Gold is dominated by the Soderbergs’ twinned voices, clear, strong and Appalachian in spirit, minus the twang. There’s also a slight Maritime lilt that drives the music, along with the mountain rhythms (Heaven Knows).

This gives their music a singular, timeless character. They sing of the road, distant vistas, waitresses, and seasons. The songs are dreamy, but not detached, and the lyrics and vocals are a vibrant presence that has an honest inspirational character.

Producer Mike Mogis (Fleet Foxes) puts a string ensemble to First Aid Kit’s flowing music, heavy on violins, viola and cellos.  From the first swooning note of My Silver Lining, it’s easy to be hooked; the songs cast a potent spell. The strings add a rich palette that adds resonance and power to the duo’s acoustic-based music.

Their songs have a deep emotional pull and if they’re all similar in style (a baroque ‘70s folk/country vibe), the imagery that the harmonies and chords invoke present a thematic flow.

Stay Gold is a record that anyone who has an interest in how folk and old-time country music can be presented in a committed, re-imagined form should check out.

(On a candid note, I played it six times through, and didn’t want to comment, just listen).

– Dean Gordon-Smith is a Vernon-based musician who writes about new releases in his column, Street Sounds, every Friday.

 

We encourage an open exchange of ideas on this story's topic, but we ask you to follow our guidelines for respecting community standards. Personal attacks, inappropriate language, and off-topic comments may be removed, and comment privileges revoked, per our Terms of Use. Please see our FAQ if you have questions or concerns about using Facebook to comment.

You might like ...

ICBC blocking record 25,000 drivers for Port Mann toll evasion
 
Port Mann Bridge use declined for most of 2014
 
A year after a fire, PoCo firefighters hold special celebration for boy
New environmental standards sought for development in Port Moody
 
Coquitlam man will face trial in March on sexual assault charge
 
Williams Moving in Coquitlam packs up
Heritage enthusiasts concerned about the future of Ioco townsite
 
Soccer coach under investigation
 
Spring clean up in Mission