SISTERS Klara and Johanna Soderberg are so close they often finish each other’s sentences. When I meet them at SFTW’s London HQ, a typical exchange arrives when Klara, 25, says: “We grew up listening to whatever was on the radio . “We were yearning to live outside the First Aid Kit world because of the constant touring and writing,” she says.Their friendship goes deeper than most siblings because they’ve been First Aid Kit bandmates for ten years, sharing stages, studios, hotels, tour buses . “For me, I had to get away from Stockholm and feel I had some space of my own.Johanna: “Our parents didn’t really listen to country.They were punks and they thought country was silly.” Klara: “Yeah, so our way of rebelling as teenagers was listening to country music.” And did their friends think they were freaks raving about that stuff? “But I just didn’t care because that music was so integral to me.
” Perhaps the most emotional and understated track is Ruins itself yet even here Klara offers hope amid the wreckage of a failed romance.
“Today I climbed the highest mountain I have ever climbed,” she croons softly.
“And I turned to look at ruins I had left behind.” One of the most intriguing aspects of First Aid Kit is their love of country music and Americana, their heroes including Gram Parsons, Emmylou Harris and Townes Van Zandt.
Johanna: “At school, I didn’t tell everyone, ‘Hey I’m listening to old country stuff.’” Klara: “I did! Almost immediately it was like, ‘Oh, this is me’ so then I just boasted about it.” Johanna continues: “And I would say, ‘Oh shut up Klara, we’re cool, we’re cool.” Klara remembers Swedish radio being “full of very happy pop stuff so it was great to hear real human emotions instead.
When you’re a confused teenager and sad and feeling ugh, it’s good to discover country.” She says it took time for people to accept “two young girls from Sweden” being inspired by singers like Gram Parsons.
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You’re even more vulnerable when you’re a public person, too.” And Klara says: “But we had each other and so much support from our family.