Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Album Review: Lost In The Trees - A Church That Fits Our Needs

On the final track of Lost In The Trees' latest masterpiece, A Church The Fits Our Needs, Ari Picker sings, "There are things songs can’t say." This may be true, but after listening to the new album, it’s hard to believe a songwriter as talented as Picker would ever have trouble making his compositions speak.

A Church That Fits Our Needs is Picker’s tribute to his mother, an artist who took her life in 2009 not long after her son’s wedding. The music is expectedly sombre overall, but it ranges from tortured to sentimental.

The orchestral arrangements on the album simultaneously steal the show and enhance the lyrics. "Garden" starts out soaring and Picker pushes the track to its stratospheric limits.

"Icy River" starts out with sounds of crows and running water. Next, chilly isolated piano notes lead into the opening lyric: "Icy River. Put your arms around my mother. I burned her body in the furnace. Till all that was left was her glory.” Gentle strings surround Picker's voice, but they gain a bit of an edge when he sings, “Don’t you ever dare say she was weak hearted."

Lost In The Trees’ ability to seamlessly transition between the intimate and the grand as well as the dissonant and the gorgeous is what make their music tremendously powerful. A Church That Fits Our Needs is complex musically and emotionally and every nuance feels necessary to capture Picker’s conflicting emotions.

Between A Church That Fits Our Needs and Bowerbirds' The Clearing, North Carolina is number one for big, beautiful folk rock in 2012.

A Church That Fits Our Needs is out now via Anti- / Trekky Records. Lost In The Trees will play the Cat’s Cradle on April 20 for their album release party. Tickets are $15.

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