George Ezra, the charming baby-faced Brit with the big voice, has been gearing up for the release of his long-anticipated second album “Staying at Tamara’s,” March 23. After teasing us with the summer single “Don’t Matter Now,” he has been releasing singles almost weekly, with “Paradise,” “Pretty Shining People,” “Holding My Girl,” and most recently, “Saviour.” However, “Saviour” is the collaboration we never saw coming- George Ezra and the Swedish folk duo First Aid Kit. After listening to the single, it makes perfect sense (and perfect harmonies).
First Aid Kit’s sound is characterized by their haunting harmonies and soulful folk ballads. While Ezra generally sticks to the realm of upbeat, feel good tunes with a folk twist, First Aid Kit gives Ezra’s sound more of an edge. Ezra’s deep vocal range combined with the echoing harmonies of the sisters gives the tune unexpected depth.
For once, the tone of the song matches the lyrics, which confronts fundamental individual beliefs, in oneself and/or a higher power. Ezra usually combines dark lyrics with upbeat pop, perhaps an apt reflection of the way Ezra handles himself in everyday situations. However, First Aid Kit does not allow Ezra to escape the “dark night” entirely.
Much of the instrumental influence comes from First Aid Kit- the beating drum (reminiscent of “Wolf”) and the folk guitar opening. However, Ezra’s distinct sound is not entirely lost. The blend of sounds actually complement rather than compete with one another.
It’s refreshing to have a collaboration where two artists merge their unique sounds to create something entirely new, instead of bouncing back and forth between verses. “Saviour” breaks new ground for Ezra, and demonstrates that he is capable of more than “happy-go-lucky” folk-pop.