Gary Flockhart: For inspiration, try First Aid Kit

First Aid Kit'Swedish band

First Aid Kit'Swedish band

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THE live music scene in the Capital has hit a temporary lull, with scarcely any big gigs round these parts until next month, when the Castle Concerts return.

Still, that’s given me plenty of time to catch up on some of the new releases that have landed on my desk recently.

Having waded through the pile of CDs and given them all a few spins, my album of the week goes to Swedish sister duo First Aid Kit, who first came to my attention when their cover of Fleet Foxes’ Tiger Mountain Peasant Song became a YouTube sensation in 2008.

I’ve since caught them live supporting Conor Oberst on a couple of his European dates and was blown away by just how good they are.

Not only are the girls easy on the eye, but their exquisite brand of indie-country is easy on the ear, with sibling harmony that sounds otherworldly at times.

Three albums in and the Stockholm duo have honed their musical skills and expanded on the already accomplished storytelling shown on their first two releases in creating an album that just gets better and better with each listen.

Produced by Mike Mogis of Bright Eyes, Stay Gold is a delight from start to finish.

Another album that’s worthy of your ears is Lazaretto, the latest offering from former White Stripes frontman Jack White.

Like many others, I found his debut solo offering, Blunderbuss, a little underwhelming, but the Detroit guitar wizard has reached again for the bag of tricks that made his work with the White Stripes and the Raconteurs so thrilling and conjured up another truly remarkable album.

In the past, White churned out records effortlessly – and it’s telling that his most carefully-constructed album to date was a year and a half in the making, which must have seemed like an eternity for a man who famously wrote and recorded White Stripes albums – from scratch – in a matter of days.