Thursday, 2 July 2009

Taken By Trees

For those acquainted with the Concretes (see previous blog post) the name Victoria Bergsman will ring a bell. The picture above perfectly illustrate this musician's extremely elusive nature. She has given few interviews, which have been quite unhelpful when it comes to characterizing Victoria.

On why she left the Concretes to start her solo project Taken By Trees she says:

I didn’t enjoy touring and being away from home as much as the rest of the band and I didn’t like to do shows that much either. I am very shy and easily feel uncomfortable. Another thing was that I started to lose belief in our ´democracy´ approach. I don´t think you can create something really true in a big group. I think I create art better on my own, otherwise you must compromise all the time and that wont lead you anywhere. I didn´t like the roles we started to adopt and become and not question it. I think it is important to question things all the time and be strong enough to say no.

Today I am looking at Taken By Trees' album Open Field from 2007. The album has the innocent vocals which characterized The Concretes' album Hey Trouble. Enough with the Concretes, I feel Victoria's solo effort is commendable and did not lead to the same outcome as when she created with the remainder of the group.

Cedar Trees: Overall a very cute song about love that did not quite work out. It starts out with a tropical-sounding entry incorporating xylophones and other good stuff. The song is really relaxing to listen to, and well worth a try.

"Will you will you will you be my friend,
Even though love came to an end?"

Sunshine Lady: Appeals of escapism abound in this song ("I cried me a river and hoped that it would come with a river so we could set sail, for faraway"). The structure of the song is very simple (it is based on one instrument) and generally pleasing.

Tell Me: Continues the recurrent theme of childhood flashbacks we saw with the Concretes ("Tell me, when it is time for me to play, cause I do not want to be left standing alone without a hand to hold"). The song is also based on repeated guitar play over-layered with Bergsman's vocals.

I have also got a new pair of shoes given that the last ones I owned had massive holes in the soles. It was embarrassing because in some pictures you could clearly tell, like in the following one taken in Trinity College, Oxford.

Overall, Victoria has managed to add her own personal touch to Taken By Trees which I feel she thought was not possible with The Concretes given the number of band members and each individual's fleetingly different ideas on how the band has to progress.

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