First Aid Kit is back with a live tribute album for Leonard Cohen titled Who By Fire, arriving March 26. It captures their performances at the Royal Dramatic Theater in Stockholm in March of 2017 in 20 tracks. According to the press release, it’s a “theatrical staging of Leonard Cohen’s songs, poems, and letters.”
The first single is Cohen’s hit “Suzanne,” which came out in 1967 and has become one of the most-covered songs in Cohen’s catalog. Following Cohen’s November 2016 death, First Aid Kit shared: “… If you ever put a guitar in our hands and ask us to sing, we will always play ‘Suzanne.’ When we heard it for the first time we were transfixed.”
About Who By Fire, the duo said in a statement: “We recently listened back to this concert and realized that this was something out of the ordinary for us. It was a challenge to create a performance that wasn’t centered 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.
They furthered, “The band, the guest artists, the atmosphere on stage…everyone had a great passion and it felt magical. 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…”
The live release will arrive in double deluxe, limited edition opaque blue vinyl with a double-sided poster. On First Aid Kit’s website, the first 2,000 copies sold will be signed by Klara and Johanna.
Listen to “Suzanne” and pre-order the set here.
Who By Fire tracklist and artist credits:
Tired (First Aid Kit, Nina Zanjani, Maia Hansson-Bergqvist)
Suzanne (First Aid Kit)
Sisters of Mercy (First Aid Kit, Nina Zanjani, Maia Hansson-Bergqvist)
Who by Fire / As The Mist Leaves No Scar (First Aid Kit, Nina Zanjani, Maia Hansson-Bergqvist)
Twelve O’Clock Chant (First Aid Kit, Nina Zanjani, Maia Hansson-Bergqvist)
Everybody Knows (Frida Hyvönen, First Aid Kit)
Avalanche (Loney Dear)
The Future (Maia Hansson-Bergqvist, First Aid Kit, Nina Zanjani)
Chelsea Hotel No.5 (Jesper Lindell, First Aid Kit)
You Want It Darker (First Aid Kit, Nina Zanjani, Maia Hansson-Bergqvist)
If It Be Your Will (First Aid Kit)
The Asthmatic (Nina Zanjani, Maia Hansson-Bergqvist, First Aid Kit)
Famous Blue Raincoat / Anthem (Maja Francis, First Aid Kit, Nina Zanjani)
Show Me The Place (Jesper Lindell, First Aid Kit)
Hallelujah (Annika Norlin, First Aid Kit)
Prayer for Messiah (Klara Söderberg)
Bird on the Wire (First Aid Kit )
Who by Fire (Reprise) / Letter to Marianne (First Aid Kit, Nina Zanjani, Maia Hansson-Bergqvist)
So Long Marianne (First Aid Kit, Frida Hyvönen, Loney Dear, Jesper Lindell, Annika Norlin, Maja Francis, Nina Zanjani, Maia Hansson-Bergqvist)
You’d Sing Too (Johanna Söderberg)
The live tribute follows First Aid Kit’s 2018 album Ruins and subsequent EP Tender Offerings, as well as standalone tracks “Strange Beauty,” “On The Road Again,” and “Come Give Me Love,” which was released in September 2020.