Lost in the Trees
A Church That Fits Our Needs
Mar 16, 2012 Web Exclusive
In the summer of 2009, as Lost in the Trees frontman Ari Picker was readying the band's debut full-length album, All Alone in an Empty House, for wide release via ANTI- Records, Picker's mother committed suicide. With Alone already complete, out in a limited run a year earlier, Picker ended up channeling his sorrowful muse into the band's next album, A Church That Fits Our Need.
A Church is a very different album from the often upbeat, majestically symphonic All Alone. The album, whose cover features a picture of Picker's late mother, finds Picker somber and reflective. The tracks on A Church are beatifically mournful, its orchestrations minor key, and its vocals sung by an author distinctly heavy of heart. Also, songs are generally longer than on All Alone, here pushing the five-minute mark, sticking around as if to mimic their author's grief.
After a brief introduction, "Neither Here Nor There" opens the album, led by delicate piano and insistent percussion, with Picker's gentle tenor sounding like a haunted angel. On "Golden Eyelids," swooping and swooning strings lift Picker's vocals heavenward, as somber imagery at the same time tethers him earthbound. Things become more emotive on "This Dead Bird Is Beautiful," with its "I'll always have her eyes" lyric and the expressive sound of what seems like wind blowing through the track, and "Garden," with its building and swirling orchestral backdrop. Picker's statement of purpose, however, seems to come in track 11, the album's penultimate cut, titled "An Artist's Song." Picker's mother was an artist as it were, and this seems almost an open letter to her, enveloped in some of the most affecting orchestration Picker has ever penned. As Picker intones, "Sing your hymn of faith, 'cause I have none," the listener inhabits his grief, only a moment later feeling the orchestration lift away sorrows as one hopes it does for Picker himself. And as those violins pick up and soar skyward, it's as if a soul is being lifted to the heavens. (http://www.lostinthetrees.com)
Author rating: 8/10
Average reader rating: 9/10
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