On the heels of Thursday’s revelation of the 2015 Oscar nominations, First Aid Kit have released a new video for the song they contributed to an Academy-recognized film. The Swedish folk duo cover R.E.M.’s “Walk Unafraid” on the soundtrack for Wild, the movie for which both Reese Witherspoon (Best Actress) and Laura Dern (Best Supporting Actress) scored Oscar nods. And it’s pretty clear the singing sisters have the iconic alt-rockers’ stamp of approval… at least from guitarist Peter Buck, who joins First Aid Kit’s Johanna and Klara Söderberg in the live performance clip. (Watch above.)
The Söderberg sisters met Buck while on a tour stop in Portland, Oregon, where the former R.E.M. member now lives. They were also in Portland to shoot the official music video for “Walk Unafraid” and invited Buck to the Pendarvis Farm set, where he sat with them to film a second, stripped-down rendition of the song.
The uplifting “Walk Unafraid,” written by Buck with bandmates Mike Mills and Michael Stipe, originally appeared on R.E.M.’s electronic-leaning 1998 Up album. While never released as a single, it became a fan-favorite at the Rock and Roll Hall of Famers’ concerts and ended up on a handful of subsequent live albums and DVDs. R.E.M. disbanded in 2011 after 31 years together.
First Aid Kit’s “Walk Unafraid” cover joins similarly themed tunes on the Wild track list, by the likes of Bruce Springsteen, Simon and Garfunkel, Lucinda Williams, Leonard Cohen and more. Wild, in theaters now, is based on the bestselling memoir by Cheryl Strayed and casts Witherspoon as the formerly troubled woman who hiked more than 1,000 miles down the Pacific Crest Trail alone.
The Wild soundtrack came out back in November, a few months after the release of First Aid Kit’s third studio album, Stay Gold — one of Rolling Stone‘s picks for the best country albums of 2014. Also this week, the duo unveiled an animated video for a standout track from the LP, “Master Pretender.” Watch below.