Taken By Trees - Open Field
Album Review

Taken By Trees – Open Field

Victoria Bergsman (VB) must’ve known she had something special to offer before parting company from The Concretes, a band that, at times, touched upon mawkish pop perfection. They’ve since adapted and overcome this seemingly minor obstacle and done so successfully, with a tour and new LP. So, what has VB produced, to justify her unsettling departure from a band within which she once, had victoriously thrived for eleven years?

Taken By Trees (TBT) is the name VB chose due to her love of trees and nature; disappointingly, there is no reference to any of the Evil Dead movies or the trees therein!
‘Open Field’ is the debut LP from TBT and just to see the sleeve itself is to find a clue as to what might be found within. A beguiling voice barely propped up by its supportive music. Using minimalist lettering and washy watercolours of her own, VB has gently swathed her shiny new baby in subtle, lyric rich cotton wool. And apparently, it’s this same material that was produced in the studio, by VB and an intentionally unprepared band (VB insisted on this form of teaching / learning the songs, so as not to technically smother each tracks individual soul), letting them instead feebly find their own feet as they played their own way over the six days in which the LP was recorded. And it really adds a delicate touch to the proceedings, with an unmistakable hesitance running throughout this ‘slow burner’ of a classic LP.

In its ‘not big, not clever’ approach, it’s captured the sheer simplicity of John Lennon’s ‘Imagine’ LP. With its almost desperate delivery, it easily matches the stark emotion of any Hope Sandoval & the Warm Inventions (HS) recording. Entwined within the fabric of every track, there’s a tenderness Norah Jones could surely envy. All of these qualities are patched together with an askew and stripped down pop sensibility often associated with the likes of Velocette, The Boo Radleys and even Simon and Garfunkel. Andreas Soderstrom adds guitar and Electrelanes Verity Susman brings piano and backing vocals to this uniquely atmospheric album, with Bjorn Yttling & John Eriksson’s (Peter, Bjorn & John) instrumentation and production skills to thank for their marginally diverse imprint. The tales told within hold such innocence and wonder that you can’t help but be drawn in and somehow seduced into listening to this complacent sirens message.

I doubt it ever will be donned as a classic, given that HS casually and criminally slipped below the radar, but this gorgeous LP should be recognised as being every bit as beautiful as any commercial sounding Nico. ‘Open Field’ and ‘Lost and Found’ are both TBT debut releases and are both available now.

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