Bergsman explores ‘Other Worlds’ in new album

New recording: Taken By Trees’ Victoria Bergsman’s latest album was inspired by trip to Hawaii.

Victoria Bergsman takes chances. At the pinnacle of her old band The Concretes’ success in 2006, she decided to fly solo under the moniker Taken by Trees, and she recorded the 2009 album “East of Eden” in Pakistan.

Seeking a more tropical vibe for 2012’s “Other Worlds,” she flew to Hawaii, where she spent 12 days exploring beaches, jungles, waterfalls and the ocean, sampling the noises of waves, rain, thunder and exotic birds.

The singer, who brings Taken by Trees to The City this week, was much more disoriented by her move to Los Angeles nearly two years ago.

#link_box { width: 150px; height: auto; margin: 0; padding: 0; margin: 10px 20px 10px 0px; padding: 10px; background-color: #fbfade; /* ecru – light yellow */ border: 1px solid #343a25; /* green – for summer arts */ float: left; font-family: arial, sans serif; font-size: 11px; } #link_box img, #link_box a { border 0px; border-style: none; outline: none; } #link_box h1 { margin: 0; padding: 5px; border-bottom: 1px solid #ddd; text-transform: none; color: #8A0808; font-family: arial, sans serif; font-weight: bold; font-size: 12px; text-align: center; } #link_box h2 { margin: 0; padding: 5px; border-bottom: 1px solid #ddd; text-transform: none; color: #000; font-family: arial, sans serif; font-weight: bold; font-size: 10px; text-align: center; } #link_box ul { list-style: none; margin: 0; padding: 0; border: none; } #link_box li { margin: 0px padding: 0px; border-bottom: 1px solid #ddd; border-bottom-width: 1px; } #link_box li a { display: block; padding: 5px 5px 5px 15px; /* Padding for bullet */ /* border-bottom: 1px solid #ddd; border-bottom-width: 1px; */ color: #000; width: 100%; width: auto; /* height: auto; */ /* border: 1px solid blue; */ margin: 0px; font-family: arial, sans serif; font-size: 11px; line-height: 14px; text-decoration: none; } #link_box li a: before { /* background-position: top left; */ } #link_box li a:hover { background-color: #ddd; color: #000; }

Probably best known for her marshmallow-y duet on the Peter Bjorn and John hit “Young Folks,” Bergsman first relocated from Stockholm to New York City.

“But I didn’t really enjoy it there. I didn’t feel very creative and I couldn’t focus,” she says. Her manager suggested she try California. “So I tried. And I stayed,” she adds.

But that only was after some serious adjustment. In Europe, Bergsman gauged her life, even her moody songs, by clearly delineated seasons. California had none of that: “The weather never changes, and that’s confusing,” she says.

Uneasy about driving, she rode the bus.

“I had a bike, but just riding home from the store with bags all over it, everyone was always laughing at me,” she says. “A friend actually pulled over one day and asked, ‘Do you need help?’ because I had one grocery bag on the back and two on the handlebars. I felt like an outcast.”

Once she bought a car, Bergsman felt more culture shock: “Valet parking! I’d never experienced that before, so I was very baffled at first by this strange man just taking my car.”

She soon fell in love with a nice,  Californian outside of the industry — a marine biologist named John — and the Echo Park-based couple just tied the knot, recently honeymooning in the Yucatan. He even taught her to surf, she says, “although I’m really bad at it — I just don’t have the patience.”

The only down side: The death of her beloved cat of 14 years, Chico, who figured into early Concretes artwork — and was taken by coyotes.

Still, the usually somber Swede is happy, as reflected in steel-drum-sampling new Trees tracks such as “Horizon” and “Pacific Blue.”

But the ethereal song “Large,” about climate change, she says, is “something a little darker, because a lot of the album is very blithe. I wanted to ground listeners a little bit, and then they can go lay on the beach.”

artsmusicPop Music & JazzTaken By TreesVictoria Bergsman

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

SF sees ‘stark and immediate’ revenue losses over coronavirus pandemic

San Francisco projects losses of up to $288 million in the current… Continue reading

School closures mean more child abuse is going unreported

Advocates seeing more severe incidents as families struggle with stress of staying home

Breed: SF will extend order to stay home until at least May 1

Mayor London Breed said Monday that the shelter-in-place order that went into… Continue reading

A second SF Muni operator tests positive for COVID-19

A second Muni operator has tested positive for COVID-19, the San Francisco… Continue reading

Most Read