Record Review: Lost in the Trees

Lost in the Trees

A Church That Fits Our Needs

Chapel Hill, NC

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“A record born in tragedy reaches transcendence”

When I interviewed Lost in the Trees’ Ari Picker in 2008, he had just released his stunning debut full length, All Alone in an Empty House. He was excited and proud, if humbly so. This was before that album was picked up by ANTI-. Before the likes of NPR’s Bob Boilen were calling it one of his favorites of the year. And before Picker’s mother ended her own life. While a tragic event of that magnitude would affect anyone, Picker has used it as creative fuel for A Church That Fits Our Need, from the album’s cover to lines like “because she breathed I breathe” from “This Dead Bird is Beautiful.”

While the inspiration behind A Church That Fits Our Needs may have been drawn from pain, Picker uses it to create melodies that soar with his rich falsetto and are complimented by majestic instrumentation (and the truly wonderful background vocals of Emma Nadeau). A gifted composer, Picker finds just the right moment to bring in a subtle guitar counterpoint or a slightly dissonant string arrangement, as in “Villain (I’ll Stick Around).”

Starting off the album and breaking mid-point are two short movements, which serve to further a cohesive feel. And, while it was born in grief, the album rises past acceptance to embracing life through music. If that sounds grandiose, listen to A Church That Fits Our Needs and hear for yourself. (ANTI-)

Recorded and Produced by Ari Picker

Mixed by Rob Schnapf

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