Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Lost In The Trees - A Church That Fits Our Needs

Lost In The Trees, one of my favorite bands from the past year, just made their third official release, A Church That Fits Our Needs. The band is known for combining folk and classical to create something truly unique. I frequently cite it as Bob Dylan meets Lord of the Rings. Which makes sense because singer/songwriter Ari Picker has a degree in film scores from Berkeley.

Their new album is a bit darker than 2010's All Alone In An Empty House. That's fine with me, however. They've continued to add more instruments to their library of sound, creating a sonic jungle of noise. This is the kind of music that lets you just close your eyes, and envision the story that's being told.

The soft vocals fit nicely with the orchestra as well as the guitar. All of this fits very nicely with the inventive drums. The creative beats remind me of more recent Radiohead material. Not because the two sound similar, but because they're both strange and unusual. 

Let's talk about album artwork. I like talking about album artwork. This artwork is very simple without feeling obvious. A close observer will also notice that the subject of this photo is the same woman from the cover of All Alone In An Empty House. This helps to tie the two albums together. It's a symbol that the band has changed without forgetting their sound.

Certain elements of "Golden Eyelids" remind me of the twister scene in The Wizard of Oz. "Icy River" is an incredibly dark and beautiful song with so many layers I get lost in it. "This Dead Bird Is Beautiful" is a slow song with a lovely piano, and falsetto, female vocals that scream into the distance.

This being their third release, Lost In The Trees has made it past the dreaded sophomore slump. Let's hope that this seals their place in the world of independent, interesting music.

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