Taken By Trees
Lost And Found
Hurrah for Scandopop! Isn't 'Sick And Tired' by The Cardigans one of the best pop records ever made? Superbly crafted, winsome and coy, yet knowing at the same time. It's a gem. And buried somewhere within 'Lost And Found' (also a title used by ace Scandopopsters The Radio Dept., tenuous connection fans) by Taken By Trees are the bare bones of the sort of pop song that The Cardigans used to do before they went electric. However, replace 'winsome' with 'cloying' and 'coy' with 'naive', and you might be getting close. Factor into the equation some late-60s pseudo-Eurovision kitsch and the fact that Victoria Bergsman sings hopelessly out of tune, however, and we're in very dark territory. Territory where it helps not to have ears, in fact. She's not just a little bit out, either - she's way off. Perhaps it's meant to be endearing - charming even - but the hyper-simplistic instrumentation, cheesy strings and Bergsman's Nico-lite vocals have me running away in terror. Make it stop, mother.
'Too Young TTA Way' (yes, that really does appear to be the title, although printing yellow on a cream background makes it hard to tell) is bit of a different beast. The melody's simpler for one, and there's all sorts of backing vocals, plus some vaguely African percussion. The melody in the first line is stolen from Billy Bragg's 'A New England', and encouragingly, Bergsman's undistinguished performance is at least partly buried by the backing vocals. She sings the last two lines by herself, and it sounds absolutely horrible. 'No Letting Go' has Bergsman singing down a drainpipe (or so it sounds), while all her mates clap along in the background. The fact that there are hardly any notes in the backing make her easier to listen to (possibly because there's very little to be out of tune with). Later on there's a theremin-type noise and a cymbal, but I'm sat here wondering what on earth it's all for. It doesn't say anything, it doesn't do anything, and as far as I can work out, it's entirely pointless. No doubt it'll be trumpeted as 'Solo Project by Concretes Singer!', but is that really enough? Not on this evidence, no.