Swedish folk duo consisting of sisters Klara (vocals, guitar) and Johanna (vocals, keyboards, autoharp, bass guitar) Söderberg. Johanna was born on 31 October 1990 and Klara on 8 January 1993.
From childhood, Klara and Johanna were eager singers by giving concerts using a jump rope as a pretend microphone. They both attended the International English school of Enskede. Klara applied for admission to a music school but she was not accepted.
In 2005 when Klara was 12, she received a guitar of her own as a Christmas present and quickly learned to play it. Johanna enjoyed a wide range of music from Britney Spears to German Techno. However, it wasn’t until watching the film ‘O Brother, Where Art Thou?’ and listening to the film’s soundtrack that she was inspired to sing ‘Down to the River to Pray’ with her sister, Klara. Fascinated by the result they started to sing together first at home and then as street singers, for example in the Stockholm metro and in front of liquor stores. They came up with the name for their band simply by randomly opening a dictionary.
In April 2007 the sisters started to upload their self-made songs to the social networking site MySpace. They also sent a demo of their song ‘Tangerine’ to the Swedish radio. It immediately went on air and was listed as one of the best songs of the summer 2007, which led to requests for live performances and even some offers from record companies. The first official performance as First Aid Kit was at PUNKTmedis library in Stockholm on 6 October. More gigs followed but as Klara was 14 and still at school, they could only play during weekends.
April 2008 saw the release of the debut EP ‘Drunken Trees’ in Sweden. The EP was produced by their father and was a re-recorded collection of songs from their MySpace site originally called “Cross Oceans”. Their first appearance in Swedish TV was also that month. The duo was already quite well known in Sweden by August 2008, when they uploaded a cover version of ‘Tiger Mountain Peasant Song’ by Fleet Foxes to YouTube. Robin Pecknold, frontman and lead guitarist for Fleet Foxes, noticed the duo’s message about the video and praised the song on his band’s webpage with multiple exclamation marks, causing a surge of popularity of the video. It led to First Aid Kit becoming internationally known, and them signing with Wichita Records at the end of 2008.
The duo released their first album, ‘The Big Black and the Blue’ on 1 February 2010. The release was followed by an extensive tour (around 100 shows) in the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and parts of Europe.
In January 2012, the band released their second album, ‘The Lion’s Roar’, produced by Mike Mogis. The album was critically acclaimed upon release and debuted at number one in Sweden and number 35 in the UK. In November of that year, First Aid Kit got ‘Composer of the Year’ and ‘Breakthrough of the Year’ awards from the Swedish Music Publishers Association.
After releasing their third album ‘Stay Gold’ (2014), they went on a worldwide tour once again. They had a break in 2016 to prepare for the next album. The new album ‘Ruins’ was released on 19 January 2018. The release was followed by several tours in Canada, the US, Europe and Australia. On 11 July Spotify released a stripped-down version of the track ‘Fireworks’ and a cover of Running Up That Hill as singles that were recorded in the new Spotify studio in Stockholm.