First Aid Kit are back with a new album, released 19th January, displaying their harmonisation and folk sounds on Ruins. The Söderberg sisters first came to be First Aid Kit a whole decade ago when they went viral for a fabulous cover. Now with four albums under their belt, Ruins shows how effortless music comes to the sisters. It allows their vocals to shine, the harmonisation to flow effortlessly and everything musical to come together full circle, creating a wonderful album that showcases the beauty of folk.
The album starts with Rebel Heart, a song that sounds as if it was taken from a Fleetwood Mac album. With the harmonies alongside the simple, yet effective input of the instruments, this song is a great opener. The only downside is that the track does and can get repetitive. However, It’s a Shame and Fireworks really are two standout songs on this album. The former is catchy and has almost a country-like add to the song. Fireworks is haunting and really beautiful in its own right. It’s the kind of song that takes you back to the sounds of Joni Mitchell, showing that folk is at the core of the sister’s bond and music.
To Live a Life is one of the slowest and most melodic songs on Ruins. The simple strumming of the guitar along the beautiful vocals of the sister’s however makes this slow song just let you breathe. In a busy world, this track is one of those songs that is needed in music and with its uncomplicated production it allows it to reflect what it is trying to. However, the album seems to slow down after the first five songs and gets slightly boring. It can be quite repetitive and fails to expand on the music that has been put out beforehand.
Overall, Ruins has some beautiful moments. Some songs are exceptional and show that the sisters are aware of what they are creating. As a folk album it excels, however, it would not stand out among others. The harmonies are beautiful; the melodies are simplistic but the album slows down, resulting in something that could just be that little bit better.