How Fleet Foxes helped First Aid Kit break in America

By the end of the 2000s, the Swedish Folk Duo First Aid Kit was already well known in its home country. Sisters Johanna and Klara Söderberg have already released their first EP. Drunk Trees, until April 2008. But that collection of songs didn’t exactly make a big impact in America. To win, the sisters had to take on some of America’s favorite boys: indie folk icons Fleet Foxes.

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Fleet Foxes themselves had just started in 2008. After forming just two years earlier, 2008 saw Fleet Foxes release an EP. Sun Giant and their self-titled debut album. Their fourth debut single was “Tiger Mountain Country Song”, and First Aid Kit decided they would cover it on the then-new video-sharing site YouTube.

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Today, that same video is still available, sitting at six million viewers as of early 2023. Fleet Foxes frontman Robin Pecknold shared the cover on the band’s website, and First Aid Kit gained a new audience of American indie folk fans. .

“We wrote to them on MySpace and said, ‘Hey, we made your song,'” Klara said Under the Radar in 2010. “We just thought someone visiting their MySpace might see it. We didn’t think the real band would see it. It didn’t happen to us. Then, the day after that, they wrote to us, and they were very positive. .”

Although it helped them build a state, the sisters were feared because they were so involved with the occult. “I don’t want them to think we didn’t make music and then cover Fleet Foxes and be like, ‘Oh, we can make music,'” Klara said. Under the Radar in 2010. “We always made our own songs, and that was the main thing.”

Although it was the song that broke them in America, First Aid Kit was not eager to build their career from a cover. The duo has only played ‘Tiger Mountain Country Song’ live 12 times, with most of those performances coming in 2010. In the last ten years, they have played the song live only five times.

It may come as a shock to fans who learned about the band from the cover, but by this point, First Aid Kit has established its own unique sound and identity. With five studio albums, including 2022 PalominoThe Söderbergs no longer have to rely so much on covers.

Check out the original First Aid Kit video featuring ‘Tiger Mountain Village Song’ below.


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