Wednesday, March 11, 2009

First Aid Kit @ Puregroove

Returning to London for only the second time, sisters Johanna and Klara Soderberg aka First Aid Kit kicked off a handful of shows with a instore performance at Puregroove that feels as natural and grounded as if they lived here. They may only be young but they seem to take everything in their stride as they stood on the small stage in a east London record shop in front of a dozen or so people, who were eager to see if these teenagers were as good as their hype suggested.
I think the captivated silence that overtook the audience was evidence that they were, to be honest it even felt like the noise from the road outside got quieter as the two young ladies played their hearts out and drew us into their world of softly strummed guitars and beautiful harmonies.
The songs they played from their debut EP Drunken Trees seemed effortless. You're Not Coming Home Tonight with its soulful chorus and strummed autoharp, which made a wonderfully traditional sound. Jagadamba, You Might was played with a wry smile as they sang the weird "jagadaga" vocal parts and fan favourite Tangerine. They even played a new track called something like "Sailor Song" which showed that even with their young heads, they are already exploring new musical paths.
Their cover of Fleet Foxes' Tiger Mountain Peasant Song, which was the first time I (and probably many others) noticed these two, was as encapsulating and gorgeous as on that youtube video. They ended on a sweep of keyboards keys which showed that even though they're said to be world-weary at a young age they still have that teenage energy, optimism and fun and I hope they never lose that.

First Aid Kit - You're Not Coming Home Tonight

Buy Drunken Trees ep from Wichita Records

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Rachael Dadd - Ant And Bee

I haven't paid much attention the actions of Ms Rachael Dadd in the last year or so. She's been gallivanting around Japan, signing to a Angel's Egg label out there and generally playing gorgeously lush folk music.
Looking on Hype Machine, I realised that funfunfun is the only blog that is actually talking about Ms Dadd's music which I find a bit mystifying. When you have artists like Laura Marling, Emmy The Great etc receiving critical acclaim, you'd think the music press would be scouring the land, like a hungry vampire in need of blood, for something along the same vein but I don't think Rachael is that fussed about national attention.
Ant And Bee is off her fourth and latest album, After The Ant Fight, which is released through Angel's Egg, and is a soft number that reminds me of a female Johnny Flynn. The plucked banjo, Rachael's gentle vocals and the warm clarinet create a earthy, friendly sound.
2009 is meant to be all about electro-pop and keyboards but for all those who want something that sounds natural and alot more human, put Rachael Dadd on your stereo/ipod/Spotify (delete as appropriate).

Rachael Dadd - Ant And Bee