Music Reviews
Taken By Trees

Taken By Trees

Open Field

Rough Trade

Something tells me that if Nico were around today, she might’ve released an album like Taken By Trees’ Open Field. This might come as a surprise to anyone expecting another “Young Folks” from Victoria Bergsman’s Björn-Yttling-produced solo debut. Hell, Open Field might come as a surprise to anyone expecting anything remotely close to either Peter, Bjorn & John or The Concretes. This is a highly voice-driven and personal record. There’s an earthy, hand-played vibe on the subtle percussion hiding behind the ukeleles, acoustic guitars, and delay/reverb-coated strings. Bergsman’s voice, though nowhere as deep and sonorous as Nico’s, takes on that same stoic tenderness and adorable mispronunciation only singers of English as a second language can bring. A few amazing stand-out moments of that Swedish-invasion, post-punk-tinged folk come up on parts like the second half of “Too Young,” a two-or-so minute, beautiful, instrumental digression, while little moments of pleasant wordplay come on tracks like “Tell Me” in which the line “why not take me all the way to July,” with the softest of J’s, is followed by some ascending lines of “You lie, you lie, you lie, you lie.” Yet, as sad as it is to say this, the moments this writer will remember most come with the Tracyanne Campbell co-penned, rightfully Camera-Obscurian, “Lost and Found” and Yttling’s instrumental, string-arrangement showcase “Open Field,” again proving his knack for pop-craft. Both of the aforementioned songs sit squarely in the middle of the album, sandwiched between a lot of subtle, beautiful songs that, for better or worse, leave a little nostalgia for days with Bergsman in front of a band.

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