What The Concretes did next…

Thursday, 23 August 2007, 16:34 | Category : Uncategorized
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Here’s a tale of former bandmates. In 2004, The Concretes released their self-titled debut long-player, which is an album I return to again and again, and it never fails to charm me three years on. In early 2006 they released their second record In Colour, which was another likeable collection of songs. Then last summer, disaster! Hot off the heels of her vocal contribution to Peter, Bjorn and John’s underground smash Young Folks, lead singer Victoria Bergsman left the band after what seemed to be a fairly acrimonious split. So no more Concretes then?

Ah, no. After a cooling-off period, the remaining band members got together again and decided to keep making music. Then Bergsman announced that she’d be doing a new solo project, going with the name Taken By Trees, rather than her own. So does two sets of former Concretes = double the goodness?

Alas, no. It seems that neither set of artists have benefited hugely from the split. The post-Bergsman Concretes’ (with drummer Lisa Millberg taking up vocal duties) latest offering Hey Trouble! is a decent enough effort, but on the whole fairly underwhelming. That’s not to say that there aren’t some choice tracks – Oh Boy and Keep Yours in particular are fine tunes – but overall it’s just not exciting me too much.

And the Taken by Trees debut Open Field is similarly failing to get my pulses racing as much as I hoped it would. In fact my comments for Hey Trouble! could equally apply to Open Field, save for the song names. There’s noting particularly bad here, in fact it’s all quite nice, and Victoria’s languid vocals are always a delight. But faint praise is about all I’m offering. However there is one standout track on the album, the new single Lost and Found, which is just wonderful. But look! On closer inspection it turns out to be written by Camera Obscura’s Traceyanne Campbell.

I think that this little fact helps to crystallise my slight disappointment with these two albums. In last year’s Let’s Get Out of This Country, Traceyanne and co. raised the bar for this particular brand of dreamy indie-pop, so that not just these Swedish artists, but so many other similar bands fall short by comparison. It’s not really their fault then, just that some others are doing it that little bit better.

Download: The Concretes – Oh Boy
Download: The Concretes – Keep Yours
Download: Taken By Trees – Lost and Found
Download: Taken By Trees – Julia

Buy Open Field and Hey Trouble!

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