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[new]: Taken By Trees – Large

By Will Oliver, September 10th 2012 — with 2 comments

Taken By Trees, a.k.a. Victoria Bergsman has released “Large”, the latest single from her new album, Other Worlds. The funky bassline is key in “Large”, playing a big role in the tropical movement of the song. Victoria delivers melt-worthy vocals that really take it to the next level.

Henning Fürst from The Tough Alliance produced the song. Stream it below.

Other Worlds is out October 2 via Secretly Canadian. Check out the previously released single “Dreams”, here.

Taken By Trees – Dreams

By Will Oliver, July 11th 2012 — with 2 comments

Taken By Trees is releasing a new album titled Other Worlds on October 2 via Secretly Canadian. “Dreams” is the first piece of music to be heard from it.

If you don’t know Taken By Trees, you should. It’s the project of Victoria Bergsman, the same Victoria featured on this song. She continues lending her spark to feel good melodies, staying true to the sound that a trip to the Hawaiian islands influenced.

Download “Dreams” via NPR. Also check out what Victoria had to say about “Dreams” right below the mp3.

[mp3]: Taken By Trees – Dreams

I hardly remember my dreams these days. Sometimes, if I am lucky and I wake up very late, I find a thin film of another time or another life. I try so desperately capture this residue of a dream that it quickly fades.

But the kind of dream I am referring to in this song is more like a sense of longing, a vision of a place where things are quiet, like floating in the ocean off of Hawaii. I find that very hard, feeling at peace, feeling that things are OK just as they are. In the past I always feared that calm would lead to laziness, but now I see it more as a strength, something I want to achieve. The album is very much about that … and about finding love. It’s a feel good album.

“Dreams” is available to pre-order as a 7″ right here.

Taken By Trees Announces New Album: Other Worlds

By Will Oliver, June 18th 2012 — with 1 comment

Taken By Trees has announced a new album titled Other Worlds. Victoria Bergsman took inspiration home with her from a recent visit to the Hawaiian islands where she found a great deal of creative inspiration.

The album comes out October 2 via Secretly Canadian. Henning Fürst of The Tough Alliance produced the album, creating something that “felt light, cool & laid back”.

She just released a trailer for the album which clearly reflects the feel and beauty of the Hawaiian aesthetic. Find that and the tracklisting below.
Read the rest of this entry »

Taken By Trees – My Boys (Animal Collective Cover)

By Will Oliver, September 18th 2009 — with 1 comment

Sure, it may be “My Boys” instead of “My Girls”, but this is still a Animal Collective cover. A mighty good one at that.

Taken By Trees is the project of Victoria Bergsman, a Swedish singer and songwriter that you all have probably have heard of, without even knowing it! She is the female singer who sings on Peter Bjorn and John’s “Young Folks”.

Taken By Tree’s second album East Of Eden came out earlier this month, and they included their stellar Animal Collective on it.

The lyrics are changed a bit to suit to songs title, and it sounds a lot warmer and gentler. It’s goooood. Makes you feel all warm and fuzzy inside!!

[mp3] : Taken By Trees – My Boys (Animal Collective Cover)

Korallreven – As Young As Yesterday (Feat. Victoria Bergsman)

By Will Oliver, September 15th 2011 — with 1 comment

Korallreven have finally announced details for their debut album, An Album by Korallreven. I’m happy to final see a proper release become announced after digging all of the singles that they’ve released already. It will drop November 15 via Acéphale.

“As You As Yesterday” is the lead-off track from the album, seeing Victoria Bergsman of Taken By Trees lending some guest vocals (it’s not her first time). It’s more ecstasy dream goodness form these crafty Swedes. This could have been a perfect summer record, but it will do fine warming us up through the likely harsh winter that will be here in no time.

[mp3]: Korallreven – As Young As Yesterday (Feat. Victoria Bergsman)

Korallreven – Honey Mine (Feat. Victoria Bergsman)

By Will Oliver, November 5th 2010 — with 2 comments

Korallreven have done nothing but impress me with their limited – but great output so far. First it was the outstanding “Loved Up” and then the apt follow up, “The Truest Faith”. Now the band has returned with a new single in the shape of “Honey Mine”. It features the lovely vocals of Victoria Bergsman, who you may just recognize from Taken By Trees.

“Honey Mine” takes you through a warm journey of clean sounds providing the listener with a aesthetic of a tropical island far, far, away. I don’t know about you, but I wouldn’t mind permanent residence in this place.

Be my honey mine.

[mp3]: Korallreven – Honey Mine (Feat. Victoria Bergsman)

The Honey Mine 7″ is available for pre-order right now, via Acephale.

The Best Songs Of 2009 : #100-51

By Will Oliver, January 13th 2010 — with 16 comments

NOTE: I didn’t include singles for 2010 albums like “Cousins” and “Norway” because in my mind they are 2010 songs. So that’s why they are not in the list. Also, I considered Local Natives a 2009 release since I was following them since last year and heard their album via the UK release. Similarly, that is why an album like the Rural Alberta Advantage has no songs on here. Because I included them in my list last year!

Without further a do, here are my favorite (or the best!) songs of 2009 in my mind! :

100 . John Frusciante – Song To The Siren

– The (newly) ex-Red Hot Chili Pepper guitarist delivers a gorgeous ballad with his cover of Tim Buckley’s “Song To The Siren”. What a voice he has! The Chili’s never let him shine like this, but looking back he always did provide great backup vocals. Everyone ignored this album, but here’s to hoping that I get someone else hooked! He takes Tim’s song and gives it his own special touch, and what a touch it is!

99. Islands – Vapours

– The song shares the name of the Island 3rd album, and just like the album, it is the Islands letting lose having fun. Nick Thorburn and company sound like they had fun making this song. It resonates through his votes, and through a true “island’ sound. This song is easy to listen to listen to with it’s funky bass groove, and savvy chorus. Total fun!

98. The Decemberists – The Rake’s Song

– Many people were not too fond of The Decemberists new “heavy-metal (ish)” sound that they took on with The Hazards Of Love. However, they find a middle ground with “The Rake’s Song” where they successfully incorporate their folky chorus over a catchy guitar riff and brutal drums. This song slays!

97. Cymbals Eat Guitars – Wind Phoenix

– Cymbals Eat Guitars are an interesting band that makes music that is emotional, raw, and sonically interesting. Don’t believe me? Listen to “Wind Phoenix” five times, then sit down, and shut up! Your welcome.

96. Hungry Villagers – Tree Full Of Ghosts

-They are extremely talented kids who have a knock for writing beautiful songs epic enough to swoon a club, with the possibility to rock out an arena someday. I have really high hopes for these guys for this new decade!

95. Basement Jaxx – Raindrops

– Basement Jaxx dropped out of the sky like a Raindrop splashing in onto the blog scene with a huge splash on blogs, just like they would have 10 years ago on the radio. Different decade, different medium of exposure, same result.

94. Kid Cudi – Pursuit of Happiness (Feat. MGMT & Ratatat)

– A Kid Cudi song guest featuring the trippy guitar work of Ratatat and a chorus sung by MGMT? A strange combination at first glance, but it works perfectly. Epic!

93. Glasvegas – It’s My Own Cheating Heart That Makes Me Cry

– James Allen’s thick Scottish accent flourishes with this powerful mega tune that is strong enough to make a grown man cry. It is a display of a guilty mans conscience that will make anyone whose ever cheated, fell like absolute shit. Pretty powerful Glasvegas, I tip my hat to you!

92. The Rocketboys – Like Ice In Water

– The Rocketboys deliver a beauitful and haunting song with “Like Ice In Water” that is well written, well constructed, and memorable. This is the type of song that deserves to be played during a dramatic end to a romantic movie. It sounds like a rush of love, collapsing at the foot of a sunrise. With a tune like this, you would have expected Grey Anatomy to pick up on it already!

91. Maxïmo Park – The Kids Are Sick Again

– Although Maxïmo Park’s new album was disappointing for the most part, there were gems like “The Kids Are Sick Again” to save the day. I discover something new about it every time I listen, and it secretly builds up to a pretty powerful chorus. When Maxïmo Park are on, they are on. Most people missed this song, but I hope you don’t second guess this band anymore. They still got it!

90. Jay-Z – Empire State of Mind (Feat. Alicia Keys)

– It may be the fact that this was the Yankees World Series victory song, or that I am from New York. But this Jay-Z song was just on fire for months, and it just rocked. Every time it was on, I was singing alone, proud to be a New Yorker. Alicia Keys kills it. This song is the closest thing I have to a hometown anthem, so I will take it! Plus, every time I hear this I am reminded of the glorious 2009 New York Yankees. Good enough for me!

89. Vetiver – Everyday

– My girlfriend introduced this song to me as a way to describe the pain of being away from one another for an extended period of time. Vetiver perfectly convey the feelings of what makes a person special to you. This is love.

88. Here We Go Magic – Tunnelvision

– Everyone from Ed Droste to Sufjan Stevens pimped this guy. You don’t get recommended by guys like that for ill reasons. Tunnelvision is a great track where Luke Temple shows of his magical voice and keen ear for uncharted melody.

87. Wavves – So Bored

– Say what you want about this kid, but this song is good. The lo-fi does infact help make the song what it is, so back off. This song wouldn’t sound the same all shined up and glassy. This is a real slackers, slacker anthem!

86. Sufjan Stevens – You Are The Blood

– Sufjan Stevens pulls a KID A on us? Could this be a sign of what the new Sufjan Stevens sounds like in the new decade? I’m all for experimental avant garde music from Sufjan. He basically melts the mind with this exceptionally good cover of The Castanets song. It doesn’t take it to a different level, rather, a different dimension.

85. The Whitest Boy Alive – Island

– The Whitest Boy Alive are the epitome of cool. The ideal listening setting for “Island” would be on a beach, wearing cool shades, sipping on a Corona. This song just makes summer come alive!

84. U2 – Moment Of Surrender

– I don’t care about anyone’s hatrid for U2, so don’t bother with me. “Moment Of Surrender” is one of U2’s finest moments in a long time. Very beautiful, very passionate, and very U2. The song builds and builds to an ecstasy filled high brought to you by 4 genius irish-men.

83. Sleep Whale – We Were Dripping

– Sleep Whale deliver a dense track filled with beautiful instrumentals, vocals drenched in reverb, which result in a real beauty.

82. Neon Indian – Local Joke

– A song that deserves it’s place in the chillwave genre. An irrestistable piece that shines and colors your speakers with its delightful electronic sounds.

81. Sharon Van Etten – Much More Than That

– All that I have to say is : heartbreaking.

80. Japandroids – Young Hearts Spark Fire

– Japandroids sure do make a lot of noise for just two dudes. It’s raw garage rock fueled by passionate men who are having fun doing what they love!

79. Dan Deacon – Snookered

– Dan Deacon amazes me with what he can do with live instruments, and electronic effects. This is eight minutes of awesome!

78. Lily Allen – Fuck You

– Lily delevers a pretty straightforward message through her glamorous pop that we can’t get enough of!

77. Muse – Uprising

– Muse deliver a rocking track featuring a big chorus, a riff ready to fill 5 Wembleys, and plenty of reasons to continue to call Muse one of the biggest bands in the world.

76. The Thermals – Now We Can See

– The Thermals continue to do their thing with one of their catchiest tunes ever. It shares the same title as the album, and rightfully so, as it is the best song on the album by a mile!

75. Washed Out – Belong

– Washed Out came out of nowhere and caught the attention of many people with his delicious EP full of chill electronic songs such as “Belong”. He is able to create a dirty sound while still sounding fresh.

74. Wilco – You & I

– Jeff Tweedy duets with the wonderful Feist on this heartbreaking beauty. Wilco has a knack for delivering some of the most earnest moments, and it was only proper that they ended the decade with another one.

73. Blind Man’s Colour – Jimmy Dove

– This is what you would get if you mixed Animal Collective with MGMT. Trippy beyond belief.

72. Discovery – Osaka Loop Line

– This is not the only Discovery song on this list. This song is just pop/r&b done right. The electronic work is true bliss. So much fun to listen to! They captured the sound of summer and poured it right into our ears.

71. Camera Obscura – French Navy

– Camera Obscura have a knack for making retro-sounding indie rock that is simply irresistible. You can’t help but smile when you hear a Camera Obscura song like “French Navy”. It’s too good to do anything else!

70. Dirty Projectors – Stillness Is the Move

“Stillness Is The Move” features an odd time signature that only the Dirty Projectors could make. It is not like anything else out there, and that is why I love it!

69. Harlem Shakes – Strictly Game

– Harlem Shakes devliver an excellent opener to their excellent debut album. The band sings “This Will Be A Better Year”. I guess they knew what was coming.

68. Röyksopp – Happy Up Here

– The song title says it all, this song just makes you sound fucking happy in the head. Musical ecstasy! Hit play, and try not to smile!

67. The Antlers – Kettering

– Try not to cry. This song is just emotionally crushing. Totally beautiful. The tears will start to fall. Just you wait!

66. Taken By Trees – My Boys

– A tropical cover of one of the best songs of the year. Her voice is sexy as hell too! A total winner!

65. Miike Snow – Black & Blue

– Miike Snow showed their ability to write incredible pop songs with their debut album, and this was just one of my favorites!

64. Bon Iver – Blood Bank

– Bon Iver is one of a kind. He followed up one of the decades finest albums with a great EP that delivered this spine tingling song. God bless Bon Iver!

63. Woods – Rain On

– A beautiful song that may draw many comparisons to artists like Neil Young. And for good reason, this song is well written, and has a nice message. I adore this song!

62. Cass McCombs – Dreams Come True Girl

– Sounds like it was taken right from the 50’s/60’s. It just has a really redeeming quality about it, making you want to find your true love and hold onto her tighter than ever!

61. St. Vincent – Actor Out Of Work

– St. Vincent finds a middle ground between beautiful earnest songs, and rock n’ roll guitar riffs, and she chooses the latter here. With that said, her lovely vocals still grace the song and make it very St. Vincent.

60. Florence + The Machine – You’ve Got the Love (XX remix)

– I am not sure if you should call this a remix of Florence + The Machine, or a cover by The XX. Either way, this remix/cover came out of nowhere and became one of my favorite songs of the year. They give the song their dark, subtle kiss allowing it to become sexier than any r&b artists that is on the radio today.

59. Julian Casablancas – Out Of The Blue

– Julian channels his inner-Stroke and delivers the best track that the Strokes never did! A perfect opening song that act as a transition from The Strokes to his solo record.

58. Dirty Projectors – Two Doves

– If two doves could make a sound, it would probably sound like this. Alright maybe not, but you get the idea. This is one of the most restrained Dirty Projecters song on Bitte Orca, and it moved me with it’s natural beauty and warmth. You begin to understand that the female vocalists in Dirty Projecters play such a crucial role in their sound. One of 2009’s most genuine beauty’s.

57. Real Estate – Beach Comber

– Real Estate created a song that really lives by it’s name. “Beach Comber” sounds like a perfect summer song. Everything sounds appropriate, and I don’t think that they could have written a better song.

56. The Doves – Kingdom Of Rust

– One of the best acts in the UK, that deserve Coldplay like acclaim. Don’t believe me? Try not to get moved by “Kingdom Of Rust”. Truly outstanding vocals, precise percussion, and guitar/bass work that speaks to each other. It all adds up a mighty tune that deserves a proper stadium singalong. The U.S. needs to hop on the Doves already.

55. The Antlers – Bear

– A really personal song. The Antlers use the thrashing rocking 2nd half to further display the feelings at hand. What a powerful song.

54. JJ – Ecstasy

– JJ came out of no where and got noticed by doing an outer worldly cover of Lil Wayne smash hit “Lilipop”. So ethereal and mystical! Lil Wayne would have no idea what is going on!

53. Here We Go Magic – Fangela

– This is top notch songwriting. Luke creates a lo-fi beauty that is equally as catchy as it is sophisticated. When they opened for Grizzly Bear at Town Hall, this song got all the hipsters moving!

52. The Very Best – Warm Heart Of Africa (Feat. Ezra Koenig)

– Luis from Pretty Much Amazing asked me to write the blurb for this excellent song for his best songs of 2009 list (which he put at #6!). Here is what I had to say:

– Back in 2008, Vampire Weekend were able to take African/World music influences and blend it effortlessly into energetic indie rock to create a juggernaut of an album. It is no surprise, then, that African music influenced bands have risen since. Vampire Weekend made it a lot easier for bands such as The Very Best to have a very good 2009. Songs like “Warm Heart Of Africa” are unlike anything we have ever heard before, yet they manage to stay perfectly accessible at the same time. It helps to have Ezra Koenig, the face of Vampire Weekend, as the featured vocalist. Ezra is able to deliver his warm familiar vocals over the smooth tropical beat, bringing two worlds together. This is the type of song that is meant for the summer, but it is great enough to sound just as good as we are bundled up in our winter coats. “Warm Heart Of Africa” is undoubtedly one of 2009’s finest moments that both indie fans, and world music fans can smile about.

51. The Sweet Serenades – Mona Lee

– God damn the Swedes really know how to make addictive pop songs! I was just talking about this with my friend Alex over a cup of coffee at dunkin donuts last night. They always produce the finest pop music. Add The Sweet Serenades to that list. For some reason they didn’t blow up in 2009, which is mind boggling after listening to how good “Mona Lee” is. From start to finish, this song is just pop rock done right!

As a bonus, here is a zip of #100-51 of my best songs of 2009 : ZIP

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