One of the first must check out albums that came out in 2018 was from the Swedish sisters Johanna and Klara Soderberg in First Aid Kit. After their debut in 2010, the sisters continued to grow with their last two albums. 2014’s The Lion’s Roar had several great singles and 2016’s Stay Gold capitalized on that success by making their sound a bit slicker but not quite crossing over to pure pop.
After a relationship break-up, Klara met up with her sister to begin work on Ruins before eventually moving North to Portland in order to work with producer Tucker Martine. Unlike Stray Gold, Ruins dials things back with more a minimal sound. First track “Rebel Heart” brings FAK’s distinctive harmonies to the forefront right away. First single “It’s A Shame” is a standout before the cliché named but pretty early 60s styled ballad “Fireworks” slows things down.
“To Live A Life” is spare with just an acoustic guitar moving most of the track. From there it’s a mix of old style country and folk tunes with the last third of Ruins never particularly breaking any new ground. A good but not great album from First Aid Kit.