All proceeds from the cover, recorded years ago, will go to Crew Nation, who are supporting the global touring community through the coronavirus pandemic.
The band have also been announced as the fourth band set to play 2021’s Latitude Festival, joining headliners Lewis Capaldi, Bastille and Snow Patrol.
“We’re excited to release our version of ‘On The Road Again’ by Willie Nelson,” First Aid Kit say of the release. “We recorded this cover a couple of years ago and recently found it while digging through the archives. The song is a country classic, it feels like we’ve known it forever. Because of the situation with COVID, sadly, the theme of the song has never felt more relevant than it does today.
“We made a video for the song using cell phone footage from our tours throughout the years. Going through all those videos made us emotional. It made us realise how much we appreciate being able to roam freely around the world. How much we love the feeling of playing live for people, in the flesh. How much we miss our incredible band and crew.”
They added: “All the proceeds from the streaming of the song will go to Crew Nation. So much of the magic happens behind the stage. It’s easily taken for granted, but without our touring and venue crew live music wouldn’t be possible. It’s important that we help them out right now.
“Oh, how we wish we could get back on the road again! Hopefully we’ll see you down the road sometime soon.”
Speaking of the cover, Crew Nation added: “Crew Nation is extremely grateful to Johanna and Klara for finding a way to support the members of crew who have been forced off the road and out of work.
“These music crews spend their lives touring with artists, so it’s wonderful to have special tribute to those unseen magical moments with this song and video.”
Members of the UK’s touring community spoke to NME this week about needing government support to make it through the pandemic.
“We’re going to have to raise money to literally keep the roof over some people’s heads – then we’ll actually be able to put on live events when we’re allowed to,” Andy Lenthall, general manager of the Production Services Association, said.
“A lot of other people are retraining in other fields. It’s not all about supporting people because they don’t have any money, it’s actually supporting a workforce so that they’re here to provide us with a live music industry when it can return – otherwise it just won’t happen.”
This week also saw the launch of the #WeMakeEvents Red Alert campaign – with hundreds of crew members marching on the streets of Manchester before arts spaces across the country lit up red in solidarity.