Plenty of Strings Attached

April 11, 2012

Lost in the Trees goes heavy on the horns.

Chapel Hill, N.C., septet Lost in the Trees delivers folk through a whirlwind of guitar, strings, accordion, French horn and drums. It all coalesces around the gut-wrenching lyrics of singer Ari Picker, who can nail the tragedy and ecstasy of love with a single line. On the band’s newest disc, “A Church That Fits Our Needs,” Picker explores the tortured life of his mother, who faced the death of twin daughters, cancer and more. Ahead of the band’s gig Saturday at the Black Cat, we take a look at some bands that shaped the Trees’ sound with albums driven by big orchestral pieces.

“Atom Heart Mother,” Pink Floyd (1970) Markedly more abstract than the concept records that would follow (1973’s “The Dark Side of the Moon” and 1979’s “The Wall”), this album used sweeping instrumentation to create an impressionistic ode to morning.

“Eldorado,” Electric Light Orchestra (1974) The band’s fourth studio record told the story of a meek man with a wild fantasy life, and made ample use of an orchestra hired just for the album.

“Kid A,” Radiohead (2000) This follow-up to “OK Computer” was a grand experiment in electronica with a loose, dreamy, dystopian story. Picker cites the percussionless instrumental track “Treefingers” among his great influences.

Black Cat, 1811 14th St. NW; Sat., 8:30 p.m., sold out; 202-667-7960. (U Street)
Amanda Erickson is deputy editor of PostEverything.
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