It's no mistake that First Aid Kit's song "The Lion's Roar" sounds like something Fleet Foxes might make — if, that is, Fleet Foxes were a pair of Swedish sisters.
You may have first heard of First Aid Kit — formed by sisters Klara and Johanna Söderberg — from a YouTube video of the pair covering Fleet Foxes' "Tiger Mountain Peasant Song" in the middle of a forest. (See the video after the jump.)
With its soaring flutes and layered harmonies, "The Lion's Roar" conjures the pastoral, almost Andean sound of Fleet Foxes' "Your Protector." Stomping drums and a strummed acoustic guitar bring welcome fire to the mix. However, it's the Söderberg sisters' soulful vocal harmonies — especially during a short but haunting a cappella interlude — that set First Aid Kit apart.
"And I'm a goddamned coward / but then again so are you," the sisters sing in the song's plaintive chorus. "And the lion's roar, the lion's roar, has me evading and hollering for you / and I never really knew what to do." Those few lines set "The Lion's Roar" apart as more than just a pretty song; it's also a piercing ballad about the pain and frustration of lost love.
Take a listen to the autumnal song here:
Song Premiere: First Aid Kit, 'The Lion's Roar'
- from The Lion's Roar
- by First Aid Kit
We asked the Söderberg sisters to tell us about the inspiration for "The Lion's Roar":
Klara and Johanna Söderberg:
'The Lion's Roar' was written during a U.K. tour when we drove through a very dramatic moorland in Scotland. During the tour, we listened a lot to Townes Van Zandt in the car. We were inspired by this mystic scenery, as well as Townes Van Zandt's beautiful melodies. By far our darkest song to date. It was the first song we wrote for the new record, and we chose to name the record after it. 'The Lion's Roar' marked a new stage in our songwriting, and the mystic feeling of this song came to characterize a big part of the new record.
The "Lion's Roar" single will be available digitally and as a 7" at First Aid Kit's shows beginning on Nov. 8. The 7" will be available in stores Dec. 6. A full-length album will be out Jan. 24.
Watch First Aid Kit's cover of Fleet Foxes' "Tiger Mountain Peasant Song" here: