On the band’s Facebook page
, Lost in the Trees
states Radiohead and “growing old and fear of death” as two of its influences, both of which ring true on the group’s third effort, A Church That Fits Our Needs
. The album is as intricate and well-crafted as a Radiohead release, with highly emotional content that was inspired by the recent suicide of frontman Ari Picker’s mother. Picker said he wanted to give her “a space, in the music, to be, and to become all the things she didn’t get a chance to be when she was alive.”
The outcome is an expansive collection of thematically and musically complex songs that serves as a beautiful dedication to the musician’s mother, whose photo graces the album’s cover. The record is filled with tracks that illicit comparisons to Radiohead, Bon Iver, and Sigur Rós, and the classically trained Picker could pass for an American Jónsi. A Church That Fits Our Needs is strong from start to finish, though it picks up speed on the dreamy fourth track, “Golden Eyelids”, which is filled with sophisticated string arrangements and harmonies.
The next song, “Icy River”, begins with subtle sound effects, like trickling water and an eerie crow, that make you feel like you’re actually lost in the trees (touché, Picker and Co.). Similar cinematic moments pop up throughout the album, such as the 37-second interlude “Moment Two”, which features similar sounds. From there, “This Dead Bird Is Beautiful” (whose title is reminiscent of Ricky Fitts in American Beauty) pays homage to Picker’s mother more obviously than other tracks with lyrics like, “Don’t you say she was weak/I’ll carry her/Because she breathed, I breathe.” The vocals on the song, along with those on “Garden”, shine, not because Picker’s talent is lost on other tracks, but because most of the time, the songs are so beautiful as a whole that it’s easy to forget what a talented singer he is.
The last song, “Vines”, is the album’s shortest (aside from music-less “Moment One” and “Moment Two”), and also one of the most simple. But it serves as the perfect closing as Picker sings, “She came down and put her song into my mouth,” again referring to his late mother who he says “was an artist in her own right.” He goes on to sing, “There are things that songs can’t say,” but Picker and the rest of Lost in the Trees have said plenty while also crafting a unique album that blends classical music with contemporary flair.
Essential Tracks: “Golden Eyelids”, “This Dead Bird Is Beautiful”, and “Vines”