12 Songs

EDITORS’ NOTES

Lost in the Trees’ 2010 debut appears to be the first stage of grief for onetime Berklee student Ari Picker, whose mother committed suicide in 2009. On A Church That Fits Our Needs, Picker worked to create a “space for (his) mother’s soul to go,” even putting her solemn face on the cover. LITT’s orchestral ensemble—cellos, violins, French horn, acoustic guitars, pianos and more—and Picker’s own delicate (yet powerful) and androgynous voice indeed conjure a magical place that glitters with a twilight-colored promise. Poignant lyrics of cancers and lost babies (twins, in his mother’s case) are intertwined with poetic images of birds in flight, glowing forests, and golden armor. “Loneliness, you’re haunting me,” he trills unsteadily in the sweet “Neither Here nor There,” while a harpsichord is struck and clattering percussion keeps the tune somersaulting along. There's a lovely, childlike feel here at times, though it’s on equal footing with a mature and introspective guiding hand. A Church That Fits Our Needs is an extraordinarily beautiful “place”; we thank Picker for letting us see it.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Lost in the Trees’ 2010 debut appears to be the first stage of grief for onetime Berklee student Ari Picker, whose mother committed suicide in 2009. On A Church That Fits Our Needs, Picker worked to create a “space for (his) mother’s soul to go,” even putting her solemn face on the cover. LITT’s orchestral ensemble—cellos, violins, French horn, acoustic guitars, pianos and more—and Picker’s own delicate (yet powerful) and androgynous voice indeed conjure a magical place that glitters with a twilight-colored promise. Poignant lyrics of cancers and lost babies (twins, in his mother’s case) are intertwined with poetic images of birds in flight, glowing forests, and golden armor. “Loneliness, you’re haunting me,” he trills unsteadily in the sweet “Neither Here nor There,” while a harpsichord is struck and clattering percussion keeps the tune somersaulting along. There's a lovely, childlike feel here at times, though it’s on equal footing with a mature and introspective guiding hand. A Church That Fits Our Needs is an extraordinarily beautiful “place”; we thank Picker for letting us see it.

TITLE TIME
0:48
5:33
5:01
5:01
4:24
3:40
0:36
5:49
4:08
4:46
5:05
2:59

About Lost In the Trees

Lost in the Trees is the brainchild of singer/guitarist Ari Picker, a Chapel Hill native who started his career as a member of the B-Sides. Picker's studies at the Berklee College of Music led him to attempt an orchestral effort, and he adopted the moniker Lost in the Trees for the project. After assembling a small group of musicians, he recorded a folk-influenced EP, Time Taunts Me, and released it on Trekky Records in early 2007. Schoolwork prevented him from touring in support of the EP's release, though, and Picker didn't return to the Lost in Trees project until 2008, when he graduated from Berklee and moved back to North Carolina.

Picker began putting together a new lineup for his band, calling upon several members of the Trekky Records crew as well as the University of North Carolina's orchestra program to help him out. Once formed, the group recorded All Alone in an Empty House, a lush sophomore album that featured strings, horns, and full orchestration. The record was released in 2008 and reissued two years later, following the group's signing with Anti- Records. The band's sophomore outing, 2012's evocative A Church That Fits Our Needs, served as a musical tribute to Picker's mother, who took her own life in 2009. The group's third long-player, Past Life, followed in early 2014. ~ William Ruhlmann & Andrew Leahey

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