11 Songs

EDITORS’ NOTES

Classically trained composer and artist Ari Picker doesn’t think small. After making a string quartet central to a 2007 EP (Time Taunts Me), Picker plowed deeper into the fertile orchestral-pop field for his sophomore release. Working in the familiar palette of indie folk-rock bands like the Decemberists and Neutral Milk Hotel, but taken to a grander scale, All Alone In an Empty House sets a new bar for the “orchestral pop” crowd. The record starts off modestly with the delicate opening minutes of the title track; but soon, Picker’s yearning voice turns to a wail, and his acoustic finger-picking yields to billowing strings and backup vocals rising like rage in the throat: the devastating lyrics are snatches of childhood memories, washed in the hues of parental discontent. It’s unnerving, and utterly lovely. From the brawny guitars and scrappy choral shout-outs on “Fireplace,” to the “Carmina Burana”-flavored drama of “Walk Around the Lake” and the elegant classical grace of “Mvt. 1 Sketch” and “Mvt. 2 Sketch,” it is, quite simply, dazzling. 

EDITORS’ NOTES

Classically trained composer and artist Ari Picker doesn’t think small. After making a string quartet central to a 2007 EP (Time Taunts Me), Picker plowed deeper into the fertile orchestral-pop field for his sophomore release. Working in the familiar palette of indie folk-rock bands like the Decemberists and Neutral Milk Hotel, but taken to a grander scale, All Alone In an Empty House sets a new bar for the “orchestral pop” crowd. The record starts off modestly with the delicate opening minutes of the title track; but soon, Picker’s yearning voice turns to a wail, and his acoustic finger-picking yields to billowing strings and backup vocals rising like rage in the throat: the devastating lyrics are snatches of childhood memories, washed in the hues of parental discontent. It’s unnerving, and utterly lovely. From the brawny guitars and scrappy choral shout-outs on “Fireplace,” to the “Carmina Burana”-flavored drama of “Walk Around the Lake” and the elegant classical grace of “Mvt. 1 Sketch” and “Mvt. 2 Sketch,” it is, quite simply, dazzling. 

TITLE TIME
5:44
2:57
3:12
3:20
3:32
3:25
1:51
3:25
2:44
5:35
2:03

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

  • ORIGIN
    Chapel Hill, NC

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