The power of Taken by Trees lies in understatement. Victoria Bergsman sings almost as if she doesn't care — but that contrast to almost every other singer I know is what makes me hear her words, and grants me space to think about her emotions. It's almost as if she etches the lines of a song and leaves listeners to fill in the rest.
In 2009, Taken by Trees put out one of my favorite records of that decade, East of Eden. The album explored and was inspired by a visit to Pakistan, while her new Other Worlds was inspired by a journey to Hawaii. These songs seem to come from a place somewhere between a dream state and waking life: There's restraint to the way the players approach this music, almost as if they're trying not to wake the baby in the other room. There's charm to that. And, though Bergsman was under the weather when Taken by Trees performed at the Tiny Desk, it all works wonderfully.
Producer: Bob Boilen; Editor: Denise DeBelius; Audio Engineer: Kevin Wait; Videographers: Denise DeBelius, Christopher Parks, Ryan Smith; photo by Lauren Rock/NPR