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All Alone In an Empty House

Lost In the Trees

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Album Review

In a different era of indie music, it might have proven more difficult for the folk/classical/pop fusion of Lost in the Trees to make an impact, but in an artistic climate softened by the likes of Final Fantasy, Sufjan Stevens, St. Vincent, etc., the North Carolina ensemble was able to give All Alone in an Empty House a second life. Originally released on the tiny Trekky label in 2008 at an EP-ish length, All Alone was picked up by Anti Records and given a 2010 birthday with a couple of extra tracks to boot. Originally Ari Picker's one-man home recording project, Lost in the Trees have blossomed into a full-blown band, and a big one at that, busting at the seams with string players who lend the music a classical flavor. Of course, that classical element begins with Picker's compositions themselves — he's a classically trained composer who had debuted his own symphony before the release of All Alone, and his writing reflects that experience. But while he's adept at weaving sweeping string sections into gentle art folk compositions in a manner that might very well find support among Joanna Newsom admirers, Picker doesn't seem at all averse to segregating the overt classical and folk-pop pieces. As you might intuit from their rather utilitarian titles, "Mvt. 1 Sketch" and "Mvt. 2 Sketch" are fully realized orchestral instrumental compositions, and each one happens to be followed by the most unadorned, acoustic guitar-driven moments on the album ("Song for the Painter" and "For Leah and Chloe," respectively). Picker's high warbling vocals are equally applicable to gentle elegant melodic arcs and the album's more angst-ridden moments like the rockish, electric guitar-centered "Fireplace," but it's as a composer — one with a healthy disregard of musical boundaries — that he truly excels. ~ J. Allen, Rovi


Formed: Chapel Hill, NC

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s, '10s

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...
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All Alone In an Empty House, Lost In the Trees
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