Its that time of year when I start discovering albums Ive overlooked throughout the year. Its also around this time when I lose my inspiration to blog about music. Thankfully, I unearthed Lost In The Trees with my last remaining eMusic credits and I feel a bit like Alice plummeting down the rabbit hole.
Ari Picker is the founder, composer, and driving force behind Chapel Hills Lost In The Trees. The band creates a sonic blend of indie-folk rock with a backdrop of dramatic classical arrangements. All Alone In An Empty House meanders at times, then careens around sharp twists and turns as it approaches emotional catastrophe. The lyrics are so deeply personal that either old wounds will rip back open or the song craft will serve as near-permanent catharsis. The album opens with the title track which Ari describes:
The lyrics to the title track All Alone in an Empty House are taken from powerful arguments my parents had while living in the house where I was born. The song’s locations and happenings, my father’s stone wall, the tower off the side of the house that he eventually moved into, my twin sisters who died at birth, my mother’s extreme depression, the emotional and sexual abuses, they are all real. But my intention in sharing them is to turn this hard reality into art, something that the listener may find comfort or hope in.
In stark contrast to that contemplative acoustic opener, “Walk Around The Lake” follows in a violent storm of stringed crescendos and ghastly squeals that abruptly plunge into delicacy. “Song for The Painter” is a song about reconciliation that serves as a reprieve before “Fireplace” accelerates in fervor. It carries an angry guitar riff that is slowly softened by strings as the song progresses.
All Alone In An Empty House is one of those albums that requires exploration. Ari has much to say in lyrics delivered by fragile vocals, but his compositions tell a story all on their own. As a listener, it requires devotion to pull back the layers and allow the two to coalesce. If youre a fan of Neutral Milk Hotel, Horse Feathers, and The Acorn, this is an album you should check out.
Video: Lost In The Trees – Walk Around The Lake