First Aid Kit – Palomino

'Palomino' offers a some fun experiments with their classic sounds.

Label: Columbia Records
Released: 4th November 2022

Returning home to record in their native Stockholm, Klara and Johanna Soderberg dazzle on their first record in nearly five years. Rather than retreating to a comfort zone, ‘Palomino’ offers a some fun experiments with their classic sounds.

On early releases Klara would often fingerpick her way through sparse songs; over time she’s loosened up her strumming hand and is more content letting the backing band provide flourishes of keys, synth, saxophone and occasionally, on the playful ‘A Feeling That Never Came’, gritty guitar. That song, with its stately, Dexy’s Midnight Runners indebted violin sweeps, is an undoubted highlight and should become a live favourite.

Earworm opener ‘Out of My Head’ is perhaps the closest they’ve come in homage to national heroes ABBA. With its languid rhythm and twanging slide guitar, ‘Turning Onto You’ is a timeless country song of the kind that the siblings can conjure seemingly effortlessly over a decade into their career.

‘Fallen Snow’ rides a delightful bassline straight out of the early-00s indie-rock explosion, backed by crunchy guitar chords, and a DIY drum setup. The duo seem excited here to dress their country songwriting up in adornments of other genres, never losing sight of the vocal harmonies which have long been their calling card.

While perhaps First Aid Kit could have built a whole record of these genre experiments, they’re not the kind of band to tear up the rule book and start again; instead this is a considered evolution that gives them space to try new things alongside the vintage sounds they made their name modernising.

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