Taken By Trees plays only 2 songs, and it’s one of the shortest Tiny Desk Concerts I can think of (it’s not even 7 minutes long). I clearly have gotten Taken By Trees confused with a number of bands with similarly constructed names (band with By and The in the title), for I had no idea what this band sounded like.
They are a four-piece with a lead singer, Victoria Bergsman, who sings in such an understated way that it’s almost melodic speaking.
“I Want You” has a reggae feel to it—the quick guitar chords and slow bouncy bass, but with Bergsman’s delivery the song couldn’t sound less reggae.
“Only You” is a bit more uptempo. It was in this song that I noticed Bergsman’s accent (she and the band are from Sweden). The set up of this song is similar to the previous one–a deep bass running through under high guitar chords. It doesn’t sound reggae this time, but it sounds very delicate.
This was a gentle concert, which I enjoyed, although I don’t know that I’d ever want to see them live.
[READ: July 14, 2016] ”La Vita Nuova”
I enjoyed the fragmentary way that this story was constructed. The story begins on the day that Amanda’s fiance left her.
Her parents were upset and angry. Her friends said that he was no good.
She walked home, took out her wedding dress and brought it to work where she had all of the children at her school “decorate it.” The school didn’t appreciate this gesture: “your personal life is not an appropriate art project for first grade.”
Then she lost her job at the school and later that year her ex-fiance married someone else (as her friend said he would).
She began babysitting one of the boys in the school, Nathaniel. And they got along very well She took him all kinds of places and they had a great time.
Nathaniel’s mother didn’t really like her. And Nathaniel’s father really liked her (the parents were divorced, but still).
All the way through the story we hear her fiances’ negative statements about her retroactively affecting everything she does.
The title of the story comes form a book of poetry from Dante. He said the secret to becoming a poet is to fall in love with a perfect girl but never speak to her.
After she’d been babysitting for a while, her parents grew annoyed with her. What was she going to do with herself? Her father paid for her to go to Yale after all.
On one of their trips, they go to a store called Little Russia and this inspires Amanda to make some new art projects. This winds up taking a lot of her time (to Nathaniel’s dismay). But it also seems to maybe help her get her life back in order.
The nature of the art project is awesome–beautiful and personal. And that means that now she has to make a decision.
I really enjoyed this story although I would have appreciated more of an ending.