Thursday, 3 June 2010

A Lesson on Labels

So after a brief overnight stay at the Bristol Hospital for Poorly Computers, my old reliable laptop is back on top of my lap. It has a spiffy new hard drive which means the sound works again , and everything seems to be running pretty much like it was before.

Well, perhaps not completely.

Have you ever realised just how personal a personal computer is? Think about it. That familiar purr that greats you as you boot up. The way you're desktop is arranged so you always know where your most important icons are. The websites that load up your login details before you've even arrived.

Unfortunately, digital amnesia has taken its toll on my computer's memory banks, and things just quite aren't what they used to be. The fans are eerily silent, my desktop cold and barren. Even Gmail doesn't remember who I am anymore. As efficient as my computer now is, it's lost its soul and it'll take me a while to get it back.

It was during this process of clinical rehabilitation, working my way through iTunes and salvaging what was left of my battered music collection, that I stumbled across a song title that made me feel like I'd lost touch with my computer forever:

Two Pretty Swedish Girls.

Now I don't know about you Internet, but this is not the kind of thing I usually have in my iTunes collection (folk tends to be pretty porn-free for the most part). I was starting to seriously regret the money I'd handed over to the seemingly friendly computer technicians only hours before (quick side note to budding entrepreneurs: it is slightly unsettling writing a cheque to a company with the word 'geek' in their title, please keep this in mind) when my eyes slid over to the song name: Tiger Mountain Peasant Song.

Fans of Fleet Foxes will have by now joined in on my huge sigh of relief, but for all the rest of you who are at this moment conjuring up images of some very exotic form of adult entertainment, rest assured that Tiger Mountain Peasant Song is, as the title suggests, just a song.

Its writers--the mellow Seattle folk band Fleet Foxes--rode to fame on the back of rich vocal harmonies and a disarmingly traditional vibe. There's a hint of Pentangle and other early folk in their minimalist and mournful tunes (don't worry Papa Burns, we'll cover Renbourn soon) as well as some snail's pace Americana.

The two Swedish girls, whose career paths we so unjustly labelled explicit, are actually sisters Klara and Johanna Söderberg, and it wasn't till after I'd downloaded many moons ago their cover of Tiger Mountain Peasant Song that they settled on the name First Aid Kit.

My persistent battle with html has awarded me yet another prize. Enjoy the embedded version of First Aid Kit's cover of Tiger Mountain Peasant Song, and try to imagine yourself in a pine-soaked forest a hundred miles outside of Stockholm. Is there anything sweeter than voices in harmony?

While you do that, if you don't mind I'm going to spend some time getting reacquainted with this mean block of alien hardware that's now in front of me. Don't get me wrong, I don't miss the busted CPU the 'Geeks' did such a great job of replacing. I'd only wish I'd had a chance to say goodbye.

Edit: Fellow folker Kevin P has made me aware of this fantastic version of First Aid Kit covering Donovan's Universal Soldier. I couldn't keep it to myself.


  1. Anonymous4.6.10

    we all dream of 2 pretty swedish girls

  2. Anonymous5.6.10

    Glad the sound works again, Step Up wouldn't have been the same.