One of the frustrating things about the Oscars’ rules for the Best Song category is that covers are not eligible for consideration. If they were, I imagine First Aid Kit’s version of R.E.M.’s “Walk Unafraid” (from 1998’s Up), recorded for Wild, would’ve been a no-brainer. The Swedish folk duo, sisters Klara and Johanna Söderberg, released their excellent third album, Stay Gold, last year—and they capped off 2014 with a stripped-down cover of “Walk Unafraid” (premiered by Billboard) alongside R.E.M. guitarist Peter Buck.
While First Aid Kit were shooting the video for their cover in Portland, where Buck lives part-time, he joined the two on set to perform the song together. And with Klara and Johanna dueting over Buck’s acoustic guitar, it’s an even lovelier version of one of the more overlooked songs in R.E.M.’s discography.