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The arrangements are thicker and more dynamic, and soften the Söderbergs' voices even as they give them more lift; guest musicians flesh out the parts recorded by the band (Klara plays guitar, Johanna plays keyboards, their father, Benkt Söderberg, plays bass, and Mattias Bergqvist plays drums). Most of the songs employ a lush, strummy folk-rock sound, but there are some nice diversions, including "Emmylou" (as in Harris, a clear influence on First Aid Kit—at one point they sing "I'll be your Emmylou and I'll be your June / If you'll be my Gram and my Johnny too"), where Mogis adds some nice pedal steel, and "Blue" (probably a Joni Mitchell nod), which has a poppy Laurel Canyon vibe. Conner Oberst of Bright Eyes provides an unnecessary and obtrusive cameo on "King of the World," but luckily that arrives at the album's end. First Aid Kit play a sold-out show at Lincoln Hall on Friday night.
First Aid Kit, "Emmylou"
Various artists, Slåttar Frå Voss, Hardanger og Krødsherad (Talik)
Milton Wright, Friends and Buddies (Henry Stone Music)
Juan Pablo Torres, Romantic Cuba (Malanga Music)
Peter Blegvad, King Strut & Other Stories (Silvertone)
Catherine Christer Hennix, The Electric Harpsichord (Die Schachtel)