First Aid Kit

Family tree of First Aid Kit

Singer & Musician

SwedishBorn Johanna & Klara Söderberg

Swedish folk duo consisting of the sisters Johanna and Klara Söderberg

Born on October 31, 1990 in Stockholm , Sweden (31 years)

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First Aid Kit is a Swedish folk duo consisting of the sisters Johanna and Klara Söderberg, born in 1990 and 1993, respectively. When performing live, they are accompanied by a drummer, a pedal steel guitarist, and a keyboard player. In 2008, they gained some Internet popularity for their cover of the Fleet Foxes' song "Tiger Mountain Peasant Song". Rolling Stone magazine chose their song "Emmylou" as the number 10 "Single of the Year" in 2012. They have released four albums, four EPs and several singles. In 2015, they were nominated for a Brit Award as one of the five best international groups. They were nominated again in 2019.

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Early history
Sisters Johanna and Klara Söderberg are from Enskede, in Stockholm. Johanna was born on 31 October 1990 and Klara on 8 January 1993. Their father was a member of the Swedish rock pop band Lolita Pop: 3:20–4:03  but quit before Johanna was born and became a teacher of history and religion. Their mother is a teacher of cinematography.From childhood, Klara and Johanna were eager singers, giving concerts using a jump rope as a pretend microphone.: 0:40–2:40  Klara's first favorite songs were Judy Garland's songs from The Wizard of Oz and Billie Holiday's version of "Gloomy Sunday", which she sang without much understanding of the English lyrics. Klara wrote her first song "Femton mil i min Barbiebil" [Fifteen miles in my Barbie car] when she was six.Klara and Johanna both attended the Internationella Engelska Skolan of Enskede. Klara applied for admission to a music school but she was not accepted.In 2005, when Klara was 12, a friend introduced her to the band Bright Eyes. This led her to country and folk music stars such as Johnny Cash, Bob Dylan, Leonard Cohen, Carter family, Louvin Brothers, Townes Van Zandt, Gram Parsons and Emmylou Harris. The same year, she received a guitar as a Christmas present and quickly learned to play it.
Johanna enjoyed a wide range of music, from Britney Spears to German techno. But it wasn't until she saw the film O Brother, Where Art Thou? and listened to its soundtrack that she was inspired to sing "Down in the River to Pray" with Klara. Fascinated by the result, the two began to sing together, first at home and then as street singers in the Stockholm metro and in front of liquor stores.: 16:10–17:55 : 2:55-4:35  Klara preemptively came up with the name for their band at age 13 by looking through a dictionary. She found the term "first aid kit" and thought it best described what she wanted her music to be.Klara and Johanna also started to write and compose their own country-folk songs inspired by Devendra Banhart and CocoRosie, among others, without much influence from their parents, who were fonder of Patti Smith, Velvet Underground and the Pixies. Their father has said that he was astonished and actually a little jealous of the ease his daughters had in producing top-notch music.: 8:20–8:55  The most important advice their father gave them was to sing so loud that even somebody behind a wall could hear it.


Career


2007–2009
In April 2007 the sisters started to upload their self-made songs to the social networking site MySpace. They also sent a demo of their song "Tangerine" to Swedish radio. It immediately went on air and was listed as one of the best songs of the summer 2007, which led to requests for live performances and even some offers from record companies. The first official performance as First Aid Kit was at PUNKTmedis library in Stockholm on 6 October. More gigs followed but as Klara was 14 and still at school, they could only play during weekends.
Meanwhile, their younger brother coincidentally attended the same kindergarten as the daughter of Karin Dreijer, half of Swedish electronic duo The Knife and also known as Fever Ray. Their mother asked Dreijer to check out her daughters' songs on MySpace. After doing so, and seeing them play live, Dreijer said that the duo had to be saved from bad deals with the industry. It was decided to sign them to Rabid Records, a label co-owned by The Knife with conditions that allowed the duo to have full control over their music and album art.April 2008 saw the release of the debut EP Drunken Trees in Sweden. The EP was produced by their father and was a re-recorded collection of songs from their MySpace site originally called "Cross Oceans". Their first appearance in Swedish TV was also that month.The duo was already quite well known in Sweden by August 2008, when they uploaded a cover version of "Tiger Mountain Peasant Song" by Fleet Foxes to YouTube. Robin Pecknold, frontman and lead guitarist for Fleet Foxes, noticed the duo's message about the video and praised the song on his band's webpage with multiple exclamation marks, causing a surge of popularity of the video.: 32:40-34:30  It led to First Aid Kit becoming internationally known, and them signing with Wichita Records at the end of 2008.

Due to international touring, Johanna quit high school in the autumn of 2008 and Klara never started it. Their father took a leave from his job as a teacher and accompanied them on tour, also helping with soundchecks. First Aid Kit's first show outside Scandinavia was on 22 November 2008 at the Crossing Border Festival in Netherlands. Fleet Foxes performed the day before, and when Pecknold spotted the duo standing at the edge of the stage they were unexpectedly asked to join to sing "Tiger Mountain Peasant Song".: 34:30–35:10 : 6:15–7:35 Wichita re-released Drunken Trees on 23 February 2009 as an enhanced EP with "Tiger Mountain Peasant Song" added as a bonus track along with some videos.


2010–2011
The duo released their first album, The Big Black and the Blue on 1 February 2010. It was again produced by their father. The release was followed by an extensive tour (around 100 shows) in the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and parts of Europe, including Primavera Sound Festival in Barcelona.Klara and Johanna had managed to meet Conor Oberst after Monsters of Folk's concert on 19 November 2009 in Stockholm and give him a demo of their coming album. Oberst had listened it and decided to see the duo when they were performing at the Austin City Limits Music Festival pre-party in Texas on 7 October 2010. In the pre-party concert he was impressed especially by the duo's acoustic performance of Ghost Town and how it had made the audience listen to the song in complete silence. After meeting the duo Oberst called Mike Mogis and asked him to see the duo's performance in ACL festival on October 9. After doing so Mogis was also impressed and offered to produce the duo's next album.: 29:20–31:20 A couple of days later on 11 October 2010, after playing a concert in Nashville, the duo got a telephone call from Jack White, who asked the duo to visit his studio next day. The result was a vinyl single containing cover versions of Buffy Sainte-Marie's "Universal Soldier" and Mel London's and Tampa Red's "It Hurts Me Too". The single was released on White's Third Man Records label.: 35:30–36:55 First Aid Kit performed first time at the Polar Music Prize gala on 30 August 2011 in Stockholm where they performed the song "Dancing Barefoot" for the winner Patti Smith. She was moved to tears at the intense ending of the song.: 4:03–6:40  The official YouTube video of the TV broadcast has been watched over one million times.


2012–2013

In January 2012, the band released their second album, The Lion's Roar, produced by Mike Mogis. The album was critically acclaimed upon release and debuted at number one in Sweden and number 35 in the UK. In support of the album, the band performed the song "Emmylou" on Conan April 2012. They also had several concert tours and performed on many major festivals.On 28 August 2012 they performed "America" for the Polar Music Prize winner Paul Simon. The performance ended with Paul Simon giving them standing ovation.

The song "The Lion's Roar" was featured in episode 2 of series 4 of Misfits. In the Hearts of Men was featured in episode 21 of season 8 of Bones.In November 2012 it was announced that First Aid Kit got "Composer of the year" and "Breakthrough of the Year" prizes from the Swedish Music Publishers Association.The song Emmylou was chosen by Rolling Stone magazine as the #10 "Single of the Year" in 2012. In February 2013 First Aid Kit was awarded the Nordic Music Prize for Best Nordic 2012 Album. They were also awarded four Swedish Grammis awards for 2012 "Artist of the Year", "Songwriter of the Year", "Best Pop of the Year" and "Album of the Year".In October the band performed "Emmylou" on The Late Show with David Letterman. This was their second appearance on the show, as they had backed Lykke Li there in November 2011.


2014–2016

Following the announcement of their third studio album Stay Gold, that was released on 10 June 2014 through Columbia Records, the band released singles "My Silver Lining" and "Cedar Lane. As a result First Aid Kit again got the "Composer of the year" prize from the Swedish Music Publishers Association. Moreover, in January 2015 First Aid Kit was nominated for the 2015 Brit Awards in the Best International Group category as one of the five nominees and they won the "Best group of the year" prize in the Swedish Radio P3 Gold Gala. Furthermore, in the same month a set of Swedish pop music related postage stamps was released in Sweden, one motif being First Aid Kit.First Aid Kit started touring again in May 2014 in North America, Europe, Japan and Australia. The last performance was on 15 August 2015 at Way Out West Festival in Gothenburg, Sweden. Except for the two Christmas concerts with Seinabo Sey, Amanda Bergman and Maja Francis on 13 December 2015 in Stockholm, they had no concerts until summer 2017 as they needed a break in order to prepare the new record.: 8:30–8:50 

During 2014-2016 they performed twice on The Late Show with David Letterman. and on Later... with Jools Holland. Further TV performances were on Conan, The Ellen DeGeneres Show, The Graham Norton Show and CBS This Morning TV show. On 9 June 2015 they performed "Red Dirt Girl" and "Emmylou" for the Polar Music Prize winner Emmylou Harris in the TV broadcast gala at Stockholm, Sweden. In the autumn 2016 Klara and Johanna performed songs of Bob Dylan and other folk singers in several Swedish TV programs.Conor Oberst released on 20 May 2014 Upside Down Mountain album where the duo sings harmonies on six tracks of the record. On 9 August, when First Aid Kit and Conor Oberst were both at Haldern Pop Festival in Germany, the duo was also singing backing vocals on five songs of Conor Oberst's set. On 29 July 2014 Jenny Lewis released her album The Voyager, where Johanna and Klara make a contribution to the title track. On 28 November 2014, First Aid Kit's 10" vinyl single "America" was released as one of the Black Friday record store day releases. On 7 September 2016, Van William released a single titled "Revolution", where First Aid Kit sings backing vocals. The song was included to Van William's album Countries released in January 2018 and peaked at number six on US AAA chart.At the end of October 2014 it was announced that First Aid Kit's cover of R.E.M.'s "Walk Unafraid" is included in the soundtrack of the movie Wild. Moreover, their song "Frozen Lake" is in the Swedish film Min Så Kallade Pappa.


2017
In the beginning of 2017 Klara and Johanna were at Flora Recording & Playback in Portland, Oregon, finishing their fourth album.On 10 February it was published that First Aid Kit sings backing vocals on the Jesper Lindell's "Moving Slow" single and the coming EP. The EP was produced by duo's father Benkt Söderberg and Sten Booberg. The A Little Less Blue EP was released on 21 April.

On 10 March, First Aid Kit released a new single, "You Are the Problem Here", for International Woman's Day, calling it an angry song and saying that it was inspired by yet another story of a man getting off easy after raping a woman. The track was produced and mixed by Tucker Martine from Flora Recording & Playback studio. However, it is not on their Ruins album. On Record Store Day 21 April 2018 a 7-inch vinyl single of "You are the problem here" was released as well. Similarly to previous digital versions all the profits from the song are donated to Women for Women International.First Aid Kit had four Leonard Cohen-themed concerts in spring 2017 with their friends in Dramaten, Stockholm, Sweden. Swedish television filmed the whole concert on 13 March and it was broadcast on 14 and 15 October by SVT2. Audio recording of the concert was released on 26 March 2021.On Record Store Day 2017, 22 April, Third Man Records published the book The Blue Series: The Story Behind the Color, which contains, in addition to a story by Johanna and Klara about recording songs in Jack White's studio, a 7-inch split blue vinyl single having on the other side previously unreleased "Gloomy Sunday" cover by First Aid Kit. The record store day issue was limited to 500 copies. The regular release with black vinyl single was released on 6 June.At Håkan Hellström's concerts on 9 and 10 June at Stockholm Olympic Stadium and on 28 and 29 July and at Ullevi stadium in Gothenburg, Johanna and Klara joined to sing with him several songs. On 25 August, Håkan Hellström published a live recording of "Du Fria" in digital format.First Aid Kit started again touring in the summer. First concert was on 16 June in Borgholm, Sweden. BBC broadcast their Glastonbury Festival concert on 23 June. Johanna played now bass guitar, Steve "Stebmo" Moore took care of the keyboards instead of her and occasionally played trombone as well. From the coming album Ruins they played "Fireworks" and "It's a Shame", the latter of which was also its first single release.During autumn, the band had several interviews in the UK and European media including German late night show Inas Nacht (Ina's Night), BBC Radio, Channel 4 TV news and the Channel 4 Sunday Brunch TV programme. From the BBC Radio 2 live session on 15 November 2017, two cover songs, "Perfect Places" and "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" were released as "Live From BBC Radio 2" single in digital format on 18 December 2017.The song "The Lion's Roar" was featured in the opening sequence of the video game "The Long Dark".


2018–2019
On 12 January 2018 BBC's Graham Norton Show was broadcast where First Aid Kit performed "It's a Shame". At the same time Johanna and Klara were interviewed on the Norwegian-Swedish Skavlan TV show where they also performed "Fireworks".

The new album Ruins was released on 19 January 2018. The album held ten new songs, including their second most streamed song on Spotify, 'Fireworks'. A gold record was awarded in Sweden in August and silver record in UK in November. The release was followed by several tours in Canada, the US, Europe and Australia. They performed at Coachella on 14 and 21 April 2018. They had their first arena concerts in UK in November and had arena size concert tour in Scandinavia starting in January 2019. During touring they performed in several radio and TV programs such as The Ellen DeGeneres Show, The Andrew Marr Show, Jimmy Kimmel Live! and The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.On 8 June Columbia released an EP Live from the Rebel Hearts Club in digital format that contains live versions of five songs from the Ruins album in addition to a live version of You are the problem here. On 11 July Spotify released a stripped-down version of "Fireworks" and a cover of Kate Bush's song "Running Up That Hill" as singles that were recorded in the new Spotify studio in Stockholm. On 14 September vinyl EP Tender Offerings was released containing four previously unreleased tracks. It went number one in UK vinyl charts.First Aid Kit sings backing vocals on several 2018 releases: on Alela Diane's song Ether & Wood on her album Cusp, on George Ezra's song Saviour on his album Staying at Tamara's and on Little Jinder's song Goldwing on her album Hejdå.In November 2018, the duo's album Ruins was nominated for International Album of the Year at the 2019 UK Americana Awards. The band also received two Swedish Grammis award nominations in 2019, one for song of the year for "Fireworks," and another for alternative pop album of the year for Ruins. In January 2019 they were again nominated for the International Group Brit Award.The second episode of the Dontnod Entertainment's 2019 video game Life Is Strange 2, released on 24 January 2019, features the song "I Found a Way" from the 2012 album The Lion's Roar.
On 25 January 2019 it was announced that First Aid Kit perform their song Home Again in the new Moominvalley TV series soundtrack. The soundtrack album was released on 19 April.On May 18 the duo announced that they have to cancel all the planned 2019 summer dates due to unforeseen medical circumstances. The reason for cancellation was the burnout of Klara Söderberg.Klara wrote a Strange Beauty after the suicide of their favorite artist David Berman. Audio performed by First Aid Kit was published on August 22 with their cover of Random Rules of Berman's band Silver Jews.On 16 October 2019 the duo received the Ulla Billquist scholarship that is awarded each year to female artists who through their artistry enriche the Swedish music scene.On 22 November Stay Gold album was listed number 6 in the Paste magazine's 40 best folk albums of the 2010s list.On 11 December First Aid Kit played three songs at the Swedish TV's charity program Musikhjälpen with Maja Francis. First Aid Kit had Christmas-themed shows on December 17, 18 and 19 in Stockholm with Amanda Bergman and Maja Francis.


2020–present
On 13 January 2020 Johanna announced that she is expecting a baby in summer A baby girl was born on 18 June. On 16 January Klara announced that she will start a country club in Stockholm with a house band. The first event was on 21 February. During spring 2020 First Aid Kit streamed live concerts from Johanna's home as well.
On 14 August 2020 cover version of Willie Nelson's song On the Road Again was released as a single. Proceeds from the song sales are donated to Crew Nation in order to support the members of crew who have been forced off the road and out of work due to COVID-19 pandemic. On 25 September two cover versions of Ted Gärdestad's Come Give Me Love song were released. One has original Swedish lyrics and the other English lyrics, translated by First Aid Kit. In 2021 they have performed in some Swedish TV-programs. On 26 March 2021 20 track Who By Fire live album from March 2017 Leonard Cohen tribute concerts was released.First Aid Kit appear as the treetaur shamans Big Tree (voiced by Johanna) and Little Tree (voiced by Klara) in both the original English version and Swedish dub of episode 4 of Centaurworld Netflix series. The episode title is "What You Need", and they sing a song with the same title.
First Aid Kit features on Thomas Stenström's song Hotel Amigo on his album Spring baby spring, released on 17 September 2021 and on Maja Francis' song Mama on her album A Pink Soft Mess released on 24 September 2021.


Band members


Current line-up
Klara Söderberg – vocals, guitar, keyboards (2007–present)
Johanna Söderberg – vocals, bass guitar, keyboards, autoharp (2007–present)
Melvin Duffy – pedal steel guitar, mandolin and electric guitar (2013–present)
Scott Simpson – drums (2015–present)
Steve Moore – keyboards, trombone (2017–present)


Previous members
Mattias Bergqvist – drums (2009–2012)
Niclas Lindström – drums (2012–2014)


Discography


Albums


EPs


Singles
*Did not appear in the official Belgian Ultratop 50 charts, but rather in the bubbling under Ultratip charts.


Soundtracks


Other charted songs


Guest appearances


Music videos


Notes


References


External links
Media related to First Aid Kit at Wikimedia Commons
Official website
AllMusic.com profile



Biography from Wikipedia (see original) under licence CC BY-SA 3.0


 

Geographical origins

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