Seeking exotic sounds to add to the atmospheric Scandinavian alt-pop of her solo project Taken By Trees (pictured), former Concretes singer Victoria Bergsman made a perilous journey to Lahore, Pakistan, to collaborate with local Sufi musicians. The resulting synthesis, East of Eden, matches her languid melodies and fellow Swede Andreas Soderstrom's sparsely elegant, conspiratorial guitar work with tabla-induced Pakistani rhythms, serpentine flutes, keening vocals, and assorted street sounds. Bergsman's whispery but resolute vocals etch enigmatic original lyrics, as well as covering an effervescent version of Animal Collective's "My Girls" (gender bent into "My Boys"). Fellow Swede Sarah Assbring, who goes by El Perro Del Mar on stage, also fashions a Nordic brand of atmospheric pop, but hers is informed by the likes of Brian Wilson. Her latest, Love Is Not Pop, displays an infusion of relatively hushed techno pop and subtle dance rhythms, thanks to the influence of collaborator Rasmus Hägg. But El Perro's warm, organic vibe remains, while Assbring's ethereal voice waxes—mostly painfully—about love.
Tue., Feb. 23, 7 p.m., 2010