Discover more from Spirit
19. Pure harmonies
Young voices intertwined.
suggested reading method
To best savour this artwork, please take a moment to eliminate distractions. Consider minimizing all other windows on your computer; putting other devices (phone, tv etc) aside; taking a deep breath, to the full extent of your lung capacity; and focusing solely on the “artwork” section.
Once you’ve processed that to your satisfaction, the rest of the post is optional reading, provided only to share my own impressions and reasons for choosing this piece.
“Tiger Mountain Peasant Song” by Fleet Foxes, covered by First Aid Kit, 2008.
Having been a fan of Fleet Foxes since high school, I believe I would have heard this spellbinding cover around the time Johanna and Klara Söderberg uploaded to YouTube in 2008. Those were the golden days of viral videos and self-published content, for the sake of artistry over likes or promotional deals… or so I’d like to think, glamourizing the past as I do 😝
Anyway, I was immediately taken by the purity in these girls’ voices. The lo-fi quality of the video and audio, as well as their location in the woods, adds to the nostalgic feeling of a campfire singalong. The song itself has the sort of lilting, melancholy melody I love – appropriate for the dark subject matter. Both Fleet Foxes and First Aid Kit sing the words so beautifully, I’d have no idea the song was about death and murder if I didn’t read the lyrics! Even so, we don’t have to interpret the murder so literally; the lyrics could also refer to isolation from the self or from nature… or perhaps regret of another action.
I appreciate the ease of becoming lost in the harmonies, the way the Söderberg sisters’ voices bend and weave around each other. A guitar and a voice or two are all that’s required to make a hit.
First Aid Kit is the band name of Swedish folk singer-songwriter sisters Johanna and Klara Söderberg. Their first EP Drunken Trees was released in 2008, when they were in their teenage years. Since then, they’ve been active touring and releasing five full-length albums, including a Leonard Cohen tribute live album.
Feel free to share your own thoughts in the comments!
If you enjoyed this post, please consider subscribing and telling your friends about Spirit :)