First Aid Kit Goes in Search of ‘America’ on Simon & Garfunkel Cover

Photo by Neil Krug.

Photo by Neil Krug.

Simon & Garfunkel’s song “America” had a certain native significance when the duo released it as part of their 1968 album “Bookends.” In the midst of 1960s tumult, two young lovers criss-cross the U.S., and their physical journey doubles as a figurative one: from Pittsburgh to Saginaw to “counting the cars on the New Jersey Turnpike,” the characters in the song were seeking meaning in their homeland, and also their own places within it.

The tune takes on a different resonance in a new cover version by First Aid Kit, which sisters Johanna and Klara Söderberg recorded as part of a 10-inch release for the Black Friday installment of Record Store Day. As they apply their heartstopping harmonies to the song, an accompanying video shows soft-focus images of their travels across the U.S. on tour, from New York City to far-flung smaller towns. Though their journey is the same one Paul Simon wrote about, its significance is transformed. Rather than seeking to discover America as insiders, the Swedish sisters are approaching this country from a different perspective, seeing America with new eyes and an outsider’s gaze that put the wistful lyrics in a new light.

But even if they didn’t, it’s a beautiful version of the song:


  1 comment for “First Aid Kit Goes in Search of ‘America’ on Simon & Garfunkel Cover

  1. Bruce
    November 18, 2014 at 3:23 pm

    You’re right, thanks for the heads up.

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