By Erin Coulehan, Contributor, DC Music Live
Hailing from Chapel Hill, North Carolina, Lost in the Trees is a band every bit as talented and complicated as their sound is whimsical. The orchestral-folk group, led by writer and composer Ari Picker, has been touring the Northeast and is set to reveal its pathos to Washington by way of mesmerizing orchestral arrangements made up of lush piano and painfully personal lyrics at Black Cat on Monday, November 5.
“We’re all in good spirits and have been having better and better shows,” says Picker during a phone conversation while on the road. “It’s great to re-explore the old stuff.”
A Church that Fits Our Needs, the band’s second album, is a deeply affecting tribute to Picker’s mother who took her life in 2009. The spellbinding album proved both cathartic and commemorative for the band, as Picker entwined his contemplations with larger concepts musically, lyrically and conceptually.
“I wanted to give her space, in the music, to be, and to become, all the things she didn’t get to be when she was alive.”
Despite the melancholy and at times heart-wrenching lyrics, the music is intimate and of the quality one would expect from a much older band.
Songs like “The dead bird is beautiful” is dizzying in its string arrangements, and a simultaneously protective and assured narrative
illustrating the legacy of Picker’s mother, whom he acknowledges as luminous in present tense, despite her passing. With lyrics that include “You lie in your wheat / This dead bird is beautiful / We found her at peace / She has my eyes” and continues “Don’t say she was weak / I’ll carry her / Because she breathed I breathe” delicacy is established amidst the solace of the song.
Lost in the Trees will be playing at Black Cat with Midtown Dickens on November 5.