Sunday, September 6th, 2009
"Sweet Child O' Mine"
Taken By Trees cover Guns N' Roses
Jenny MortsellEven when in The Concretes, Victoria Bergsman wrapped her distinctive, sleepy vocals around unexpected cover versions of songs by acts as different as The Rolling Stones and Take That. So when in 2008, under her solo guise as Taken By Trees, she released a 7″ with an a-side rendition of the Guns N’ Roses classic tune, it was less a “WTF?” moment than a, “huh, okay”. Bergsman doesn’t do anything especially revolutionary besides play and sing it in exactly the way you might expect – simply and winsomely, accompanied by piano, acoustic guitar and some spare but effective drums – but that approach is different enough from the bombast of the original to make it distinctive.
Where Bergsman does surprise is on her new album East Of Eden, which is out this week. It was largely recorded in Pakistan and very much bears the sonic imprint of the region on its instrumentation, arrangements and ineffable “vibe” but is still very much recognizable as the gentle folk-pop which she plies. It’s a delicate line to walk, how to incorporate such strong outside influences into one’s own work without losing one’s identity, but Bergsman mostly pulls it off. And it contains yet another cover – Animal Collective’s “My Girls” recast as “My Boys”.
Meanwhile, Guns N’ Roses are still insane.
MP3: Taken By Trees – “Sweet Child O’ Mine”
Video: Guns N’ Roses – “Sweet Child O’ Mine”