Since her departure from The Concretes in 2006, Victoria Bergsman has been working under the name Taken By Trees. She has released two studio albums and lent her vocals to the masterful PB&J track “Young Folks.”
Recently Bergsman took a trip to Hawaii and was uniquely inspired by the beauty and sounds of the Pacific chain. She spent quite a bit of time exploring and soaking in the islands. Going as far as recording the natural sounds of the islands she harnessed her impressionable trip into her art and crafted Other Worlds.
Like the waves romantically painting the shores of Hawaii, Other Worlds floats effortlessly on waves of simple, yet impactful, beauty. Though Bergsman’s release doesn’t simply play to just island sounds, intertwining an influence of Beach Boys and Augustos Pablo’s, it paints a world none of can visit in person, but can certainly feel welcome in audibly. Funky reggae bass licks and synth ambiance lay down a framework for an easy groove of the finest quality. Her voice is light and virtually flawless, making it not just vocals contributing to a rising and falling instrumental dance of inspirational measures, but an integral piece of her music. Though that may go without saying in most cases, I have difficulties thinking of a time when it was ever so impressive.
From “Horizon” to “Dreams (Coconut Cut)” Other Worlds transports you to, well, other worlds. There are virtually no hints of exhausted production efforts or technological saves. In the most organic sense, Bergsman single handedly crafts a world which is easy to lose yourself in. Infectious lyrics abound, through just one listen you’ll be singing along with “Highest High” and “Dreams.” You’ll be swaying to “In Other Words.” And you’ll find solace in the meditative “Your Place or Mine.” The collaboration with producer Henning Fürst hand delivers an elegance uniquely Taken By Trees and a vocal presence reminiscent of Yukimi Nagano.
Cleanly produced, allowing a range of ambient layers, well defined, and artistically beautiful, Other Worlds delivers. Any time of year, if I need an escape I’m leaning on Taken By Trees. This latest release effortlessly breathes life into you, making it clearly one of the most enjoyable albums I’ve heard as of recent. As Marc Berger is to the desert, Bergsman is to the island. Which island? Listen and you’ll find your own.