- 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.
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.”