Lost in the Trees– “Past Life”
Pairs Well With… Typhoon, Bowerbirds, Midlake
Lost in the Trees have gone for a notably paired down sound on their most recent album Past Life. The group has dropped their orchestral element focusing more on lush textures and looped instrumentation. The album also marks a departure from Picker as the primary creative force allowing the three remaining fellow members of the band more input into creating the band’s songs. After getting acquainted with the band’s new sound and Past Life’s palpable energy, it’s apparent change was needed for the band to grow and evolve creatively.
2012 Review: Operation Every Band caught Lost in the Trees at last year’s 35 Conferette (now 35 Denton) at a late night outdoor set after a night of music and drinking. Afterwards, as we ambled to our cars with our designated drivers we talked about just how good the band was. Were we enamored because we were boozed up, or were they as interesting a group as Kevin and I went on about? We caught them the next week at SXSW and all doubt was gone. The SXSW set was earlier, and singer Ari Picker’s vocals and the band’s performance were again as dramatically intimate as we had heard at 35 Denton. We chose them as one of our 12 artists to follow and I asked to cover them as my lone non-hip hop act. A year later and my copy of All Alone in an Empty House is my most well worn record. It’s a perfect late night or early Sunday afternoon album, a mixture of heartfelt and dramatic from the first to final track that is rarely found. Ari’s songs are autobiographical and predominantly observational. Rarely does he pick a side in the often conflicting viewpoints in his songs. While the band has always had an experimental edge, a “folk orchestra” I’ve repeated on more than one occasion, their most recent singles and the implied tone of the new album, A Church That Fits Our Needs, appears to be their most exploratory yet. A promo video for the album finds Ari discussing his inspiration for the newest album, his mother’s illness and death, and how he coped and continues to deal with the sudden loss. So a little tipsy or not, check out Lost in the Trees at SXSW and see if you find a similar connection to the music. For many acts the norms are a pretense of detachment and transparent fake cool, at least for this listener, the coolest thing a singer and band can do is share their story, warts and all.
2011 Review: a folk rock band from Chapel Hill, NC with a dramatic sound and great instrumentation. Lost in the Trees craft epic Wagnerian musical numbers with an onslaught of instrumentation and orchestration. Their sound is based in traditional elements, mostly incorporating acoustic sounds at its base. The band injects so much emotion though that it’s hard to even put a “folk” tag on their sound. They are certainly at their best when they really go for with a sense of experimentation, adding dense drums or subtle electronic elements. Lost in the Trees are also very accessible; I could see them gaining some mainstream grounding if they music can reach a larger audience. They have a very mature sound especially considering they’ve only been releasing records for a few years. Lost in the Trees recently released their sophomore LP Time Taunts Me, which is actually a reworking of a 2007 EP of the same name.