East of Eden by Taken By Trees on Apple Music

11 Songs

EDITORS’ NOTES

You may know Victoria Bergsman from her work with the Concretes, or with Peter, Bjorn & John (she’s the female voice on “Young Folks”). On East of Eden, Bergsman transports us to Pakistan where she traveled and recorded, indulging her affection for the late singer Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan and for Qawwali (a type of Sufi devotional music, popular in southern Pakistan). The end result is astoundingly effective. There are many lovely moments of cross-cultural pollination, like the swirling, Qawwali field recording “Wapas Karna,” the mournful Swedish language “Tidens Gång,” and the rippling, exotic strings on tracks like “Watch the Waves.” But the gorgeous, slow motion sway of “Greyest Love Of All” and the melancholy “To Lose Someone” (strangely reminiscent of a Robert Flack melody) keep Bergsman’s affinity for western pop music in plain view. Even the tablas, flutes and tambourines on “Day By Day” can’t keep the sugary sweetness of fizzy pop from bubbling to the surface. East of Eden is a richly rewarding aural delight.

EDITORS’ NOTES

You may know Victoria Bergsman from her work with the Concretes, or with Peter, Bjorn & John (she’s the female voice on “Young Folks”). On East of Eden, Bergsman transports us to Pakistan where she traveled and recorded, indulging her affection for the late singer Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan and for Qawwali (a type of Sufi devotional music, popular in southern Pakistan). The end result is astoundingly effective. There are many lovely moments of cross-cultural pollination, like the swirling, Qawwali field recording “Wapas Karna,” the mournful Swedish language “Tidens Gång,” and the rippling, exotic strings on tracks like “Watch the Waves.” But the gorgeous, slow motion sway of “Greyest Love Of All” and the melancholy “To Lose Someone” (strangely reminiscent of a Robert Flack melody) keep Bergsman’s affinity for western pop music in plain view. Even the tablas, flutes and tambourines on “Day By Day” can’t keep the sugary sweetness of fizzy pop from bubbling to the surface. East of Eden is a richly rewarding aural delight.

TITLE TIME
4:46
4:25
4:24
3:41
1:45
2:36
3:11
3:25
4:20
2:49
6:46

About Taken By Trees

Having served as the group's enigmatic, melancholy frontwoman for over a decade, Victoria Bergsman left the Concretes in 2006 following the release of the group's sophomore album, In Colour. "We'd started to lose our playfulness," she said in an interview with Plan B Magazine's Everett True. "It had become too much of a business." Her departure also came on the heels of the much-hyped release of "Young Folks," the first single from Peter Bjorn and John's third album, which featured Bergsman as a guest vocalist. Bergsman didn't waste any time following her split with the Concretes. Adopting the name Taken by Trees, she recorded four songs ("Tell Me," "Too Young," "Lost and Found," and "Hours Pass Like Centuries") with PB&J's Björn Yttling and made them available online in the fall of 2006. The new recordings found Bergsman abandoning the Concretes' sprightly sound in lieu of a style of somber, stripped-down twee that put her in league with Camera Obscura and El Perro del Mar. Taken by Trees' first full-length, "Open Field," was released on Rough Trade in 2007. Several new songs, including a cover of Guns N' Roses' "Sweet Child of Mine," were available via Taken by Trees' MySpace site in early 2008. For the next Taken by Trees' album, Bergsman wanted to try something different so she and recording engineer, Andreas Söderström, traveled to Pakistan to record with local musicians. The resulting album, East of Eden, was released in 2009. Her next record was inspired by a trip to Hawaii and the notion of making music that combined the lazily sweet, Hawaiian-inspired "Diamond Head" by the Beach Boys with Augustus Pablo's deeply dubby "AP Spezial." Working again with Söderström and for the first time with producer Henning Fürst (of Swedish duo the Tough Alliance,) Bergsman recorded most of the album on the Island before shifting to L.A., where Dan Horne and Farmer Dave Scher (of Beachwood Sparks) added some sounds to the mix. The finished work, Other Worlds, was released in October of 2012 by her new label Secretly Canadian. ~ Margaret Reges

  • ORIGIN
    Sweden

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