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Top 25 Art Blog - Creative Tourist

First Aid Kit

Drunken Trees EP, Released 23rd February

Written by Melanie Harrison

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You can’t help but smile at the sight of Jessy Pemberton, viagra treatment all rosy cheeks and red lipstick bold and bright, discount she is the picture of wholesome. The industrious girl with her fingers in many home-baked pies, bustled in to meet me for a quick juice in Fresh and Wild and talk ghosts, the weird and wonderous activities of the Pemberton clan, and illustration of course.

Since graduating from the Royal College of Art in knitwear design, Jessy has worked with the likes of Paul Smith and Jockey; exhibited alongside Tracy Emin and Mike Figgis; and worked with Cath Kidston on her book ‘Make!” – to name a few achievements. But it is when you come to look at her own illustrations that the world of Jessy Permberton springs to life, a fabric of its own woven together with home-made videos, a boundless imagination and a child-like sense of fun. I soon find that the simple question, so where do you get your inspiration from?, opens a window to this world, and all I am required to do is sit back, listen, and enjoy. By the time my carrot and ginger concoction gets to the lumpy bits, it is luckily only in my head that I say, ‘erm, adopt me?”

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Take Harold the Ghost; pictured above with younger twins Chloe and Amelia. He comes to aid of children in times of need, asking only a small payment by way of some toast. One story involves a boy who gets bullied for having big ears. The boy calls on Harold, by post, who comes to the rescue with a heavy dose of bully medicine by giving them gigantic ears … But the initial genesis of Harold came from one of the many home-made movies (featured below) made by the Pemberton siblings, on one of their annual trips to the Welsh countryside. It’s also worth looking at their very own zombie film, apparently inspired from watching Braindead a million times over in early years.

The illustration of below is mother Pemberton, who does not drive and is accustomed to going to and from antique sales with her bike and trailer; a habitual collector to which Jessy has followed suite. The French Girl and Cakes comes from another story, Bella and the Sky, into which her family appear in various guises, and the last is a drawing of her dad in younger years, who apparently is the only member of the family that does not partake in their creative activities, thank you very much.

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As the world of ghosts comes up against the straight-faced world of publishing we hope that Harold and friends will find thier way to tables and shelves soon. Jessy is also currently working on a top secret project with Rubbish Magazine. Keep your eyes peeled for her name during London Fashion Week.

Feel your modern cynicism just fall away as First Aid Kit‘s new EP begins. Drunken Trees summons folk songs of yesteryear and golden-tinged days-gone-by, hospital the ultimate antidote to credit crunchiness and war. The Swedish sisters have a knack of lulling you with their sweet sound until you wake, medicine revitalized by smart lyrics and a punchy chorus. Here they are at their harmonic best. The seven songs that unfold are the sort heard around bonfires with stars twinkling above, visit this site melody and words perfectly aligned.

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The emphasis is on storytelling, playful one minute, subdued the next, ‘Little Moon’ gathers you around with ‘There’s a city at the top of the mountains…I used to go there as a child’ and the narrative rolls on from there. Each track melts into another and the enchanted tales keep coming. And with such song-writing, Joanna and Klara demonstrate a maturity beyond their teenage years. The balmy ‘Tangerine’ (lyrically reminiscent of Regina Spektor) is a gorgeous blanket of sound, recorded at home; ‘Jagadamba, You Might’ is notable as sing-along, dance-along folk.

It’s no wonder they’ve already earned a sparkling reputation in Scandinavia and are rapidly gaining a fan-base over here. Inevitable comparisons are with Joanna Newsom, and the girls cite influences as varied as Bright Eyes, Devendra Banhart and Vashti Bunyan. Listen carefully and their vocals actually owe more to Stina Nordemstam, albeit poppier and younger. There are low points: ‘Pervigilo’ is pretty, but on the dull side and overlong, the tunes are syrupy and won’t satisfy those with more savoury tastes. Many of the songs fade away rather than burn out. But these are matters of personal preference.

Drunken Trees
is bulging with extras, a bonus track, a much You-Tubed Fleet Foxes cover and a DVD of three songs recorded in a Swedish forest. Plenty to satisfy devotees, and an album and UK tour set for later in the year. If this taster is anything to go by, it’ll be full of pure, natural sound and mysteries you’ll just want to keep unravelling.

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