Thanks to Swedish sister duo First Aid Kit, “Swedish Folk Americana” is now an actual thing. Klara and Johanna Söderberg recall feeling like outsiders for finding 1970s U.S. culture “exotic” and for obsessing over country stars like Johnny Cash. In their teens they began drawing lyrical inspiration from Swedish folk stories while setting their songs to a rootsy North American sound. Their recorded videos won them spots on Late Night with David Letterman and Ellen and earned multiple Swedish Grammy Awards.
Celebrated for soaring, exquisite harmonies, the duo’s live performances moved Patti Smith and Emmylou Harris to tears. First Aid Kit now returns to the U.S. to debut an acclaimed fourth album, Ruins, which features REM guitarist Peter Buck and Wilco drummer Glenn Kotche. Backed by pedal steel, bass, keyboards, and guitar, First Aid Kit’s live shows transfix audiences with everything from lilting ballads to a head-banging Black Sabbath cover—and their tribute to the #MeToo Movement, “You Are the Problem Here.”