Saturday, March 20, 2010

Taken By Trees - East Of Eden

I know that this is already a few months old, but that's just the way East of Eden is: a quiet grower that slowly infiltrates its subtle charms on us, until we finally realize how much we've been liking it without even noticing.
Not that it was meant to be that way. After all, there's some big names involved in here: this is the second album by the solo project of Victoria Bergman (yes, the Concretes singer and also the female voice behind one certain ubiquitous universal indie hit called Young Folks), with production by Dan Lissvik of the wonderful Studio, guest appearances by Panda Bear and including a cover of another recent universal indie hit (My Girls by Animal Collective, here transvested as My Boys). But the result is actually much more an understatement than the sum of its parts would lead us to believe.
Starting as a trip to Pakistan, this project ends up fusing two worlds, but never let's the concept of exotic get in the way, with the eastern elements perfectly finding its place and integrating themselves among the more folkish instruments, balearic percussion and the overall relaxed atmosphere of the project.
With so many influences in a sound that could be described as minimal, the risk could be of overlapping things, but there's only one misstep in here, a redundant track consisting of a field recording fronted by a qawwali singer that sounds like an unnecessary statement. The rest is a collection of mostly acoustic mantras, stripped to the bone, using only the absolutely necessary to slowly involve us in its beauty. And in its simplicity, the result is truly effective: that beauty is indeed breathtaking. (7/10)

Taken By Trees - My Boys (video)

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