released August 10th, 2010
from the album - All Alone In An Empty House
from all music
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. School work 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.
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.
1 All Alone in an Empty House Picker 5:44
2 Walk Around the Lake Picker 2:57
3 Mvt. I Sketch Picker 3:12
4 Song for the Painter Picker 3:20
5 Fire Place Picker 3:32
6 Love on My Side Picker 3:25
7 Wooden Walls of This Forest Church Picker 1:51
8 A Room Where Your Paintings Hang Picker 3:25
9 We Burn the Leaves Picker 2:44
10 Mvt. II Sketch Picker 5:35
11 For Leah & Chloe Picker 2:03