The First Aid Kit w/Rich Aucoin and The Stance

Saturday, January 31 at the Seahorse, 1665 Argyle, $8, 423-7200.

Coming from a sunny city like Los Angeles, you'd figure Darryl Smith would bemoan dealing with the Canadian winter he faces in Halifax. Don't be fooled---the singer/guitarist/bassist for The First Aid Kit says he'd much rather be here in Halifax than in his self-described "paralyzing and strange" hometown.

"I don't like the winter, but LA is the worst city in the whole world, so anything is better than it. I'll take one hundred winters here over driving in LA any day," says Smith.

It's surely swell to be in Halifax when your band is preparing to unleash a brand-new EP on fans and friends. The First Aid Kit's first EP---Rocket Summer---was recorded shortly after the band came together in 2006. They went with recording in a studio for the new release, Still Standing, and nowadays feel better about the music they're creating.

"With this one we've been playing shows for a year or year and a half, so these songs were more of a culmination of what we're trying to do," says Smith, who first met the band's other main songwriter, Matt Davidson, at a summer camp in his youth.

The music is energetic, emotional and laden with sharp hooks, which isn't surprising when you consider some of their favourite artists are The Clash, Bruce Springsteen and The Beach Boys. Smith has tried to work with these musical ideas in other locations---even in Glasgow, Scotland, a move he calls "the worst decision in my life."

As was the case in Glasgow, he came to Halifax without knowing a soul. As Smith sees it, things couldn't have worked out better. "We came here with a similar situation, but everyone was really friendly." Thus, The First Aid Kit is still standing.

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