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First Aid Kit releases a gorgeous new track, “It’s a Shame”

XPoNential Music Festival
First Aid Kit | photo by Neil Krug | www.neilkrug.com

Swedish sister duo First Aid Kit just released their new single “It’s a Shame,” their first song in three years and first follow-up to the acclaimed Stay Gold. The duo of Johanna and Klara Söderberg has a beautiful, harmony-driven sound similar to that of groups like Joseph and Fleet Foxes; the vocals on “It’s a Shame” are heavenly, fitting perfectly with the mix of acoustic strumming and country-inspired keyboard lines. Take a listen to “It’s a Shame” below, revisit their XPoNential Music Festival appearance here and keep tabs on the band via Facebook. Continue reading →

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Here are all our favorite covers from this past weekend’s XPN Fest

George Ezra | Photo by Cameron Pollack | cameronpollack.500px.com
George Ezra | Photo by Cameron Pollack | cameronpollack.500px.com

Missed out on the festivities this past weekend? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. As entertaining as it was seeing some of our favorite bands play some of our favorite songs at XPN Fest, it was equally fun seeing them play some of their own favorite songs. Without fail, there is always a fantastic collection of covers played by the various performers throughout the festival, and we’re here to break down the best of the weekend for you. Continue reading →

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XPNFest recap: First Aid Kit dazzled the River Stage crowd

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First Aid Kit | Photo by Cameron Pollack | cameronpollack.500px.com

Johanna and Klara Söderberg, better known as the Swedish folk duo First Aid Kit, captivated the XPN Fest crowd this afternoon with their dazzling harmonies and musicianship.

The duo’s musical career started early, when they learned to play “Down the River to Pray” from the film O Brother, Where Art Thou? They quickly discovered their songwriting capabilities, and began performing on the streets of Stockholm.

It wasn’t until they uploaded their songs to social networking sites like MySpace and YouTube that they received widespread attention. One cover of “Tiger Mountain Peasant Song” by Fleet Foxes gained them Internet fame, and they decided to focus on music full-time.

Since then, they’ve released three studio albums, the most recent being 2014’s Stay Gold. They played several tracks from that record, including “My Silver Lining”, “Master Pretender”, “Waitress Song”, and the title track. They even threw in a cover of Simon and Garfunkel’s “America”. Continue reading →

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Courtney Barnett, Dawes, First Aid Kit, Lord Huron and more top the XPoNential Music Festival 2015 lineup

XPNFestBuilding on to the exciting Saturday-night XPoNential Music Festival roster at Susquehanna Bank Center with St. Vincent and My Morning Jacket and Sunday-night with Grace Potter, George Ezra and more – it’s time to announce the core crew of bands that will be hanging out with us at Wiggins Park and Susquehanna Bank Center from July 24th through the 26th.

Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: First Aid Kid at Union Transfer, People Under the Stairs at Johnny Brenda’s and Amos Lee at American Music Theatre

FirstAidKit

Swedish folk duo First Aid Kit will play tonight at Union Transfer. Made up of sisters Johanna and Klara Söderberg, the duo has been making a name for itself since it became a Youtube sensation with its cover of Fleet Foxes’ “Tiger Mountain Peasant Song” in 2008. That same year the sisters released their debut album, Drunken Trees, and have been growing in popularity since. The indie duo released its latest album, Stay Gold, in June of this year and is currently on tour with the album. For more information and tickets, check out the XPN Concert Calendar.

Los Angeles People Under the Stairs will be at Johnny Brenda’s tonight. The hip-hop group, consisting of Double K (Michael Turner) and Thes One (Christopher Portugal), formed in 1998 and has been completely DIY from the start — pioneering the way for many hip-hop artists. The group is on the second leg of its tour to promote the new album, “12 Step Program.” Listen to the single, “1 Up Til Sun Up,” below and go to the XPN Concert Calendar for tickets and more information.

Singer-songwriter Amos Lee is a little bit of everything. With some folk, a hint of twang country, a lot of rock and a ton of soul, the Philadelphia native covers a wide range of genres with his music. Lee and his band opened for Jack Johnson this past Friday to a sold-out crowd at the Mann Center and will play again tonight at the American Music Theatre (sans Jack Johnson). Check the XPN Concert Calendar for tickets and more information about the show. Below, check out a fan video of Amos and Jack Johnson singing “(Sittin’ By) The Dock of The Bay,” from Friday night’s show at the Mann.

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Stream the new First Aid Kit album, Stay Gold

Photo by Neil Krug via facebook.com/firstaidkitofficial
Photo by Neil Krug via facebook.com/firstaidkitofficial

Swedish sisters Klara and Johanna Söderberg have been performing together as First Aid Kit since they released their debut EP, Drunken Trees, in 2008. That summer, First Aid Kit uploaded a cover of “Tiger Mountain Peasant Song” by Fleet Foxes to YouTube. Fleet Foxes’ lead singer Robin Pecknold posted a link on their webpage to the video resulting in a wave of popularity for the sisters. They released their debut full length in 2010, The Big Black & The Blue, followed by 2012’s The Lion’s Roar. First Aid Kit are also featured on Conor Oberst’s new album and have recorded a single with Jack White for Third Man Records.

Their new album, Stay Gold, is an exquisite collection of songs from the sisters. Influenced by singer-songwriter, folk and country traditions, the arrangements are well crafted, the sound warm and welcoming, and the harmonies transcendent. Mike Mogis produced the album with the sisters performing most of the instruments themselves.

Below, watch the video for “Cedar Lane,” Stream the album in it’s entirety here.

First Aid Kit play Union Transfer on Monday, June 9th. Go here for tickets.

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Gotta Hear Song of the Week: “My Silver Lining” by First Aid Kit

Photo by Neil Krug http://neilkrug.com/

First Aid Kit are sisters Johanna & Klara Söderberg from Stockholm, Sweden. The indie folk duo released their debut album in 2010, and they release their new album, Stay Gold on June 10th. The album was produced by Mike Mogis, and features the features the Omaha Symphony Orchestra. First Aid Kit are playing at Union Transfer on Monday, June 9th. Go here for tickets and more information. Below, listen to “My Silver Lining” from the band’s forthcoming album. The song has a dreamy baroque-country flavor to it, features an exquisite string arrangement, and the sisters’ sweet and elegant harmonies.

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First Aid Kit embark on a quest for clarity and meaning on new song, “My Silver Lining”

Photo by Neil Krug via facebook.com/firstaidkitofficial
Photo by Neil Krug via facebook.com/firstaidkitofficial

Swedish folk duo First Aid Kit sing of uncertainty and the powers of intuition on their new song “My Silver Lining”. Lifted from their upcoming LP Stay Gold (due June 10th), the track finds the two singers on a search for meaning that they won’t give up on easily: “Be it for reason, be it for love/I won’t take the easy road”. The rise and fall of the violins backed by a relentless acoustic guitar personifies the inner struggle while highlighting the beautifully impassioned harmonies of Johanna & Klara Söderberg. Listen below and get tickets to their June 9th show at Union Transfer here.

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Weekend Picks: Delta Spirit at Union Transfer, Cloud Nothings at Johnny Brenda’s, First Aid Kit at Union Transfer

FRIDAY, MARCH 30th
When Delta Spirit self-titled its latest album, it wasn’t just for lack of a better idea. With Delta Spirit, the band shed its former Americana for a more electric sound—which, clearly, they hope to be identified with in years to come. The switch is fairly seamless for Delta Spirit, which performed at the WXPN showcase at SXSW (in case you missed our multiple posts about it) with high-energy songs that capture your attention keep it through the whole album. The band members, known for their experimentation, may change their minds about Delta Spirit’s sound later down the road, but for now the change is a welcome one. Delta Spirit performs with Waters at 9 p.m. at Union Transfer; tickets to the all-ages show are SOLD OUT. —Nicole Soll

The Cleveland, OH-based lo-fi rock quartet Cloud Nothings is currently on tour in support of the band’s third album, Attack On Memory (released in January via Carpark Records). Cloud Nothings performs with Bleeding Rainbow and A Classic Education at 9 p.m. at Johnny Brenda’s; tickets to the 21+ show are SOLD OUT.

Also Playing: Andrew W.K. + Math the Band, Aleister X at Theatre Of Living Arts (8 p.m., all ages, SOLD OUT); Black Landlord + Doug Johnson at Milkboy Philly (10 p.m., 21+, $10); Blayer Pointdujour And The Rockers Galore + She Came Crashing, The Hi Five at The M Room (9 p.m., 21+, $8); Nero + Dillon Francis at Electric Factory (8:30 p.m., all ages, $40)

SATURDAY, MARCH 31st
Would a band like Swedish YouTube sensation First Aid Kit be touring through the United States back in the early ’00s, before the term “YouTube Sensation” (and the instant fame it granted) even existed? Probably not, for a variety of reasons—not the least of which is because sisters Johanna and Klara Söderberg would have been only 10 and 7 years old (respectively) back in 2000. In an Internet-less alternate reality, the sisters Söderberg would probably spend most of their musical careers toiling away in the Stockholm rock circuit, making just enough money to keep their plates full of pickled herring. Thankfully, we live in a world where First Aid Kid blew up on the Internet, which afforded the folk duo the opportunity to bring its vocal-harmony-laden, Fleet-Foxes-inspired music stateside in late 2010. Since then, First Aid Kit has released its critically acclaimed sophomore album, The Lion’s Roar, back in January (via Redeye Records), which the duo is currently touring in support of. First Aid Kit performs with Peggy Sue at 8:30 p.m. at Union Transfer; tickets to the all-ages show are $15.

Also Playing: Far-Out Fangtooth + The Eeries, The Shakes at North Star Bar (9 p.m., 21+, $10); Gang + Sgt. Sass, Violent Vickie at Kung Fu Necktie (9 p.m., 21+, $8); Mason Jennings + The Pines at World Cafe Live (8 p.m., all ages, $25-$45)

SUNDAY, APRIL 1st
Guitar Wolf + The Transistors, The Midnight Beat at Johnny Brenda’s (9 p.m., 21+, $13-$15); Samarth Nagarkar + Indrajit Roy-Chowdhury, Kedarnath Havaldar at PhilaMOCA (3 p.m., all ages, $10)