Review: Tender Offerings by First Aid Kit

Tender Offerings by First Aid KitTender Offerings is a four-song EP composed of tracks from the same sessions as First Aid Kit’s last album, Ruins, which they scrapped for one reason or another. Listening to it, you understand why. Ruins continued the Söderberg sisters’ evolution, down the Americana lane, but with edges more polished: more flexible, more marketable, and oddly, somehow still able to hold the vocal harmonies that made them popular in the first place. This EP, on the other hand, feels like a throwback, at least back to their The Lion’s Roar years, which means we get the best of both worlds: this feels a bit polished, yes, but a bit grittier, too. As such, the heartbreak on the songs here feel much more painful, particularly on “Ugly”, which builds across the song and packing a punch only First Aid Kit can deliver. Tender Offerings is not a throwaway EP, but more of a companion piece: as a gauge with which to measure the girls’ evolution as artists, it’s indispensable. And good songs, too, albeit from a slightly alternate universe. [NB]4/5

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