Lost in the Trees: Past Life (ANTI-) - album review | Under The Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
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Lost in the Trees

Past Life


Feb 18, 2014 Lost in the Trees Bookmark and Share

Lost in the Trees’ last album, A Church That Fits Our Needs, was a somber and lush reflection on singer/songwriter Ari Picker’s mother’s death. It carved out an expansive space to explore emotions and depth, and they filled that space beautifully. It’s kind of a hard album to followso rich in substance and personal meaning. With Past Life, Picker’s response was apparently to peel back the musical layers and see what remains. The result is an album that attempts the same scope of introspective pondering crafted from a more minimalist approach.

Past Life is stripped down to a core of four members from six on Church, as well as to a raw and simple sound. It is not as heavy or lush as its predecessor, but it makes up for missing arrangements with hauntingly beautiful vocal textures layered over chilly beats. It relies on a less complex repertoire of tricks and sounds but is masterfully arranged with a pure, soul-jerking atmosphere. There is a well-crafted electronic heart at the core of these songs, brought to life with careful and subtle execution. Even during its sparsest moments, the emptiness fills the sound as much as each orchestrated swell.

This new approach does not work consistently, however. Occasionally it sounds unfulfilled, like melodies drifting off into nowhere only to find their way back and repeat, lost in a gloomy haze of steady rhythms. By the time the ironically sleepy “Wake” rolls in, it is hard to keep track of where Past Life is going versus where it has been. Maybe it is intentionalthe pieces of songs drifting apart like distant memories from a past lifebut in execution it can be a little underwhelming and tiresome. (www.lostinthetrees.com)

Author rating: 5/10

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Average reader rating: 9/10


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February 18th 2014