The “orchestral folk” tag attached to North Carolina’s Lost In The Trees is a perfect descriptor. Frontman Ari Picker studied film composition at the Berklee School of Music, and naturally his music has an intricate, well-thought-out quality. But with the band behind him, Picker brings his education down to the ground–the compositions sound more organic and alive than Berklee fussiness would have you believe. Lost In The Trees somehow marries Beethoven with the emotional impact of Neutral Milk Hotel.
All of this makes their new album Past Life such a surprise. The group garnered critical acclaim for 2012’s A Church That Fits Our Needs, a record that recounts the suicide of Picker’s mother. Past Life turns its observations inward, but the sweeping grandeur of the music is pared down to a bare minimum. Electronic beats bubble ominously beneath the group’s sparkling harmonies, marrying the synthetic with the organic. It’s an interesting new direction for the band, and it works especially well on “Rites.” With these new tools at their disposal, Lost In The Trees craft a song that’s icy but no less emotionally driven.
Catch Lost In The Trees on Sunday, April 27 at Holy Mountain at 9pm.