Back in September, the Swedish duo First Aid Kit brought Patti Smith to tears with a snippet of their “Dancing Barefoot” cover. The performance, for the Polar Music Prize ceremony in Stockholm, was only a minute or so long, but the beauty in their voices and the delicate arrangement hinted at more.
For most bands, playing covers amounts to a rite of passage. They bang out a favorite tune in some anonymous bar, or as an encore in an arena in Wichita or Winnipeg. No big deal, right? Well, it is a big deal if the artist being covered is in the audience.
Last we heard from First Aid Kit, they were pepping up Fever Ray’s “When I Grow Up.” They return today with two new covers. This time, though, they bring along a new friend: Mr. Jack White III. As he so often does, White produced their new 7” for his own Third Man Records label. The Swedish folk duo covers two old-school chestnuts: “Universal Soldier” and “It Hurts Me Too.” Listen to both below.
As you may remember from her recent Peter Gabriel cover, Karin Dreijer Andersson aka. Fever Ray embraces darkness with glitchy goth-techno productions. The former singer of the Knife, Andersson delves deep into the psyche to discover some creepy truths. It’s music to soundtrack a 2 a.m. bout of paranoia. Or create one.
Swedish folk duo First Aid Kit are, suffice to say, less gloomy. Fever Ray seems a strange choice for them until you realize they record for the Rabid Records label. And who runs that label? Andersson herself. Connections everywhere! This woodsy cover comes as the b-side to the band’s new “Ghost Town” single, which drops next Tuesday.