The Söderberg sisters, aka First Aid Kit, have announced that they will be sharing a brand new live tribute album to Leonard Cohen, titled Who By Fire. Originally performed at the Royal Dramatic Theater in Stockholm back in 2017, the duo give a rich tone to Cohen’s literary songs.
A mammoth 20 tracks were performed across those two evenings, and with the band joined by a set of guest artists, including a string section and a huge choir, Cohen’s songs are given a new luscious arrangement. The grandeur of the surroundings and the wonderful recording adds a sense of gilded power to Cohen’s work. The first track, ‘Suzanne’, is our Track of the Day.
One of the great inimitable voices of the 20th century, Leonard Cohen, is always a dangerous place to start a tribute album, but the band handle this cover with aplomb. Speaking about the record, their statement read: “We recently listened back to this concert and realized that this was something out of the ordinary for us.”
The challenge was a difficult one for a band so original in their thinking: “It was a challenge to create a performance that wasn’t centred around First Aid Kit songs. It was something we’d never done before, but everything came together so well. Dwelling deeply into Cohen’s world was a pleasure, he was so prolific as both a poet and a songwriter, and everything he ever put out held a very strong standard. He cared immensely for his work. The band, the guest artists, the atmosphere on stage…everyone had a great passion and it felt magical.
As true fans, the duo note that, “This is definitely a record that is best enjoyed listening to back-to-back with no interruptions. Allow yourself to just disappear into Cohen’s world for a little while.”
“We decided not to edit any of the performances. The flaws are part of the live experience. In a time when you sadly can’t go to an actual physical live show, you can listen to this and imagine you were there…”
Listen below to First Aid Kit covering ‘Suzanne’ as part of their Leonard Cohen tribute album Who By Fire.