First Aid Kit has released two recordings paying tribute to Silver Jews frontman David Berman, who committed suicide at the age of 52 on August 7. According to JamBase, First Aid Kit, the Swedish indie-folk duo consisting of sisters Klara and Johanna Söderberg, covered Silver Jews’ classic “Random Rules” and wrote a new song titled “Strange Beauty” inspired by the loss of Berman, the indie-rock singer-songwriter.
“Random Rules” is one of the tracks from Silver Jews’ American Water album released in 1998. With Berman’s hoarse baritone, he spoke of the struggle of “approaching perfection” in politics and mental illness. The song is one of the most prestigious works of Silver Jews. However, the group broke up in 2009, leaving a well-known legacy. A decade later, Berman debuted his solo album, Purple Mountains, just this July. The singer-songwriter’s first release after a long hiatus has become a parting gift to fans due to his passing.
In honor of Berman’s influence, First Aid Kit wrote an original song called “Strange Beauty.” In this song, the duo delivers an emotionally-charged performance fueled by the death of Berman. Layered with harmonies and woodsy guitar tunes, the nearly-four-minute single is another rustic track from First Aid Kit. The lyrics are homespun but honest, saying “And when you are gone, the world it moves on…But it’s lost its strange beauty…And when you are gone, the rest of us have to carry on…But the world it’s lost its strange beauty.” As longtime fans of Berman, First Aid Kit lauds him as “Strange Beauty,” Klara elaborates on this homage:
“I think a lot of people were as shocked as I was upon hearing the news of David Berman’s passing. It didn’t seem real. It left me completely devastated. So I wrote the song “Strange Beauty” to try to make sense of my feelings.
“Random Rules” is a longtime Berman favorite of ours and a song we always thought we would record if we ever made a cover record. It holds some of the greatest lyrics ever penned and shows the genius of David Berman. We hope the songs can be some kind of comfort.
Lots of love,
First Aid Kit Single Artwork 2019:
Photo Credit: Sharon Alagna