Lost In The Trees – [Album]

Saturday, 07 August 2010

Ever spend a day looking at different things with a magnifying glass when you were a kid? It can utterly change your perception of the world; suddenly pristine surfaces get rough and abstract-looking, simple things appear very complex and complicated and a whole other world of possibilities opens up right before your eyes upon close examination. On its' ANTI– debut, All Alone In An Empty House, Lost In The Trees seems to have taken a magnifying glass to its' own musical structure in that, at the first appearance of each song, it seems small, simple and almost meek until it is magnified and becomes a sprawling landscape. Each song on this record veers back and forth between these perceptions (as in, “big-small-big-small-big”) and uses those shifts as the motion that propels the record along – but that motion is also most fascinating because, as the record plays, listeners find themselves getting turned onto a multitude of possibilities per minute as new sounds suddenly come into and fade from focus.

This seemingly constant shift of values is already in place and working as All Alone In An Empty House opens with the album's title track and gives listeners just a taste of what the band has in store. As singer/guitarist Ari Picker (formerly of folk/metal/R&B oddballs The Never) strums his acoustic guitar delicately and sings tenderly, an increasing number of effects, voices and instruments begin to manifest and align behind him (strings, drums, organs, sounds that might be footsteps on grass and so on) as if to form a backdrop. The refrains of “tend the garden” and “what are you hiding” that reoccur throughout the song feel like the questions and commands Picker if asking of both his bandmates as well as the sounds they're making, so it sounds as though he's actually interacting with the music and thereby compelling listeners to want to do the same. There's nothing bombastic about this title track, but the way that parts get magnified by engineer/producer Scott Salter is the compelling thing that engages listeners and has them locked in from that moment forward.

After “Walk Around The Lake” actually does get bombastic and almost assaulting in its' delivery of classic gothic and sighing vocals and thunderous, terrifying and percussive instrumental stabs, “Mvt. I Sketch” makes jaws drop with its' staggeringly accomplished, classically trained and orchestral builds. Between those first three tracks alone Lost In The Trees sets itself apart completely from anything else in pop. Of course, bands have utilized classical accompaniment before, but not before now have what sounds like avant-classical compositions seemed to use pop structuring for accessibility as Lost In The Trees does here; no one else is in this kind of ballpark, no one else is even playing this sport.

Rather than rest on any laurels or take a minute to bask in its' audience's amazement, Lost In The Trees earnestly continues to thicken the plot by further developing both ends of their structural formula) both the pop and the classical). Songs including “Love on My Side,” “Song For The Painter,” “Wooden Walls Of This Forest Church” and “A Room Where Your Paintings Hang” all follow a similar progression as the one that the first songs on the record set but, as they go, rather than get more ham-fisted because the principles are already set, Lost In The Trees actually further refines and develops a clearer focus on the delicacy required for the sounds they're balancing, and so gets even more complex.  Because that growth is organic and progresses as the record does, Lost In The Trees establishes itself as peerless in pop because no one is using so many classically-informed ideas in pop, nor is anyone even trying. Not many bands can say that they are so far outside of everything else going on in pop at the moment, and that's the reason why everyone should hear All Alone In An Empty House. There is no specific group of listeners to which the album caters, which means everyone should give it a try; All Alone In An Empty House is a truly enriching experience.



All Alone In An Empty House
comes out August 10, 2010 on ANTI– Records. Pre-order it here on Amazon .

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