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Listen to Swedish Folk-Pop Sister Duo First Aid Kit's #TBT Mixtape, In Honor of Their 10 Year Anniversary

First Aid Kit
Lauren Dukoff

First Aid Kit

Welcome to #TBT Mixtape, Billboard's new series showcasing artists' very own throwback-themed playlists, exclusive to Billboard's Spotify account. The curated set features the artists' favorite tracks from their youth and childhood.

This week's spin comes from folk-pop act First Aid Kit. The sister duo of Johanna and Klara Söderberg first went viral a decade ago thanks to their stunning cover of Fleet Foxes' "Tiger Mountain Peasant Song" -- filmed in the woods of their native Sweden, and showcasing their otherworldly knack for harmony.


 
This year marks their 10th anniversary as a band, as the fast-rising group -- who hail from a southern suburb of Stockholm -- began composing songs as teenagers in 2007. They've since released three studio LPs -- two via Wichita Records (The Big Black And The Blue in 2010 and The Lion’s Roar in 2012), followed by their lush major-label debut Stay Gold in 2014, via Columbia Records.

The sisters returned last week with their latest single “It’s A Shame,” which premiered via Zane Lowe’s Beats 1 radio. Recorded in early 2017 and produced by Tucker Martine (My Morning Jacket, Laura Veirs) in Portland, OR, “It’s a Shame” is a plea to live in the moment.

"We went to Los Angeles last spring and spent five weeks there writing. It was a tough time for the both of us. We were in this beautiful sunny place, but mostly felt sad and lonely," they explain. "'It's a Shame' is a song about the emptiness and desperation you feel after a relationship has come to an end. How you will go to great lengths just to numb the pain and feel less lonely."


To celebrate the release of “It’s A Shame,” as well as their career milestone, First Aid Kit put together this week's #TBT Mixtape, inspired by the heroes that first fed their passion to make music.

"We grew up in a musical family, great music was always being played somewhere in the background. We remember our parents played Patti Smith, fellow Swedes The Cardigans, and Elliott Smith a lot. Klara tried to imitate Judy Garland's and Billie Holiday's voices. We were constantly singing," Johanna says. "When we started making music together as a band, at the age of 14 and 16, we were initially inspired by Bright Eyes. Discovering Bright Eyes was kind of a musical revelation. The honesty and simplicity of their records really shook us."

"Through Bright Eyes we started digging deeper into folky music, discovering the greats - Emmylou, Gram, Johnny Cash, Simon & Garfunkel, Dylan," adds Klara. "We also listened a lot to contemporary so-called 'freak folk' bands like CocoRosie and Devendra Banhart when we started out. It's fun now for us, as we're celebrating 10 years as a band, to look back at those formative years. We can hear so many of these influences so clearly in our early songs. It was such an amazing time."

Give the set a spin and also check out some throwback snaps of the pair from their hey-day below. Also tune in tomorrow (Oct. 6) for a special 10th anniversary Facebook live performance from the group here at 1pm ET/10am PT. 

 

 

 
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