Editors' pick

Lost in the Trees

Folk/Bluegrass
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Editorial Review

LOST IN THE TREES
Album review: "A Church That Fits Our Needs"
By Catherine P. Lewis
Friday, Apr. 13, 2012

On Lost in the Trees' new album, "A Church That Fits Our Needs," frontman Ari Picker espouses the healing power of music; the album was written in the aftermath of his mother's 2009 suicide. As a whole, the album isn't nearly as somber as one might expect, thanks to Picker's abstract lyrics and the band's rich, symphonic indie-folk sound.

The lush string arrangement and pronounced percussion on the up-tempo "Garden" add to the song's dramatic crescendos, and Picker's emotion-drenched tenor floats over the shimmering orchestration of "Golden Eyelids." Even the sparser "Villain (I'll Stick Around)" conveys a delicate grief. Picker studied film scoring at Berklee College of Music, training that shines through these gorgeous arrangements. But the album incorporates nature as much as traditional instruments: Field recordings of birds, footsteps and crumpling paper give these songs a worldly atmosphere.

Picker does have his moments of bleakness. He is at his most direct on the melancholy "Icy River," with his sigh of "Icy river, put your arms around my mother/I burned her body in the furnace/Till all that's left was her glory." The lyrics seem dramatic on paper, but in the context of the song, Lost in the Trees captures a tribute to Picker's mother that is more loving than it is morbid.