TAKEN BY TREES
YELLOW TO BLUE
SHANNON COSGROVE (Publicist)
More than a mere line from the new Taken By Trees (aka Victoria Bergsman) album, this message so vividly depicts Victoria’s enlightened, inspired place to offer the greater world around her. In a seemingly complex climate of confused politics, anger and violence, Victoria offers a rare jewel to soothe and brighten the darkness. This was at least her commitment with ‘Yellow to Blue’, her most playful and hopeful creation to date, lying at a perfect crossroad between indie and commercial. And in a world of trend followers, Victoria Bergsman is still notably herself, revered for her style and innovativeness, boundless approach to creativity and artistic integrity.
‘Vibrant Colors’ is an emotional, peace offering to Victoria’s three year old son, Charlie (who also inspired his own song by the same name, delving into the kind of love where “I didn’t know I could love this way”). The influence of her new life as a mother in the quiet north east Los Angeles with it’s green hilly neighborhoods and grand views cannot be underestimated. As an avid creator of images to tell stories, she has used the primary colors that surround her(from bright toys to blue skies) to drive the sonic and visual pictures of this stunning 10 track journey; clear, grounding, refreshingly “childish”. Paradoxically, Victoria manages to hold on to her core qualities as an artist in pedaling her dark and mysterious tone while transcending the listener to a quasi-meditational state. The subject of the first single ‘Once’ assumes that dark place Victoria has so often taken us too, about someone in conflict with addiction, but ingredients of hope and comfort extend a refreshing silver lining.
The process of this album made it once again distinct from the Taken By Trees album predecessors. Victoria reflects on the different album ‘head spaces’:
“Post The Concretes and the huge success of ‘Young Folks’ (Peter, Bjorn & John), my first solo album(Open Field, 2007) was made in the old Atlantis Abba Studio(Stockholm), when I wasn’t entirely sure I wanted to continue making music anymore due to pure exhaustion. Since I thrive on an artistic challenge, it made sense afterwards that I change things up dramatically, so I sought inspiration by getting completely out of my comfort zone and surrounding myself with my love of Sufi music in Pakistan (East of Eden, 2009).
The third album(Other Worlds, 2012) was all about encapsulating love, as I was falling in love with my now husband, and I chose the warm, romantic setting of Hawaii to indulge in.
‘Yellow to Blue’ my forth studio album has been three years in the making – and not focussing entirely on me brought something new to the table – which is what I need every time I make a new record. I was pregnant, had Charlie and then tried to find focus and patience caring for a child whilst working with on- demand producers like Jessie Shatkin, who thankfully adopted this album like a labour of love...”
Musically, ‘Yellow To Blue’ explores the pop genre to its fullest, eliciting the help of producers of Jesse’s A-list calibre (Sia, Rihanna, Kelly Clarkson) and co-writers Ariel Rechtshaid (Haim, Usher), Rostam Batmanglij (Vampire Weekend) and Daniel Nigro (Sky Ferraria). A worthy contributor from album East Of Eden, Dan Lissvik (Studio) is again at the helm. His unique style of heavy-beat, indie-pop driving music significantly influences the resulting collection of production and mixes, combining the high key, immediate satisfaction of hooks with the intentional, laid back voice we look for in Taken By Trees. Crisp, sun-soaked driving rhythms, gritty bass, coasting, relaxed melodies, and lush hi-fi mixes all guide the listener through a full spectrum of human experience, marrying beautifully with Victoria’s current ‘modus operandi’:
“I really enjoyed the newness of writing melody and lyric on existing produced tracks. I tried a not-so- serious approach to song writing, yet conversely couldn’t help but be moved to encourage understanding and support when debates around topics like gun control stir up so much hurt and disappointment. This record is my contribution to offering something a little soothing, and not perpetuate more anger and cynicism. We need to be more caring, make sure we know each other and what is troubling people to resort to violence in the first place. I’m in a lighter place, and I hope I can leave people with that feeling with this record...”