"All Alone In An Empty House"
"Song For The Painter"
"Time Taunts Me"
This is my favorite new band of 2010. Led by Ari Picker, who studied film scoring at Berklee, Lost in the Trees creates a cinematic blend of storytelling and strings. There's freshness and excitement to the music he writes, and that comes through in his band's arrangements of cellos, violins, tubas, French horns, guitar and more.
Then there are Picker's words; listen to the very first song Lost in the Trees performs in the NPR Music offices: "All Alone in an Empty House" describes a tale of fighting parents, dying children, anger and regret, drawn from Picker's own childhood. When you see his young, innocent face as he takes that deep breath before launching into the song, you know these are not easy songs to sing, and not easy stories to tell.
"Music has played several roles in my life. The songwriting side has humanistic elements," Picker says in the band's press materials. "It's a defense mechanism against extreme relationships such as my parents had. Singing is a way of giving something up and letting go. The classical component of my music has more spiritual connotations. I feel like I'm soaking something up, like I'm being spoken to by something very elemental."
Picker sings and plays a 12-string guitar that's been converted to six strings. The band is filled out with Drew Anagnost and Leah Gibson on cello, Mark Daumen on tuba and glockenspiel (at the Tiny Desk, but he also plays bass), Emma Nadeau on French horn and accordion, Jenavieve Varga on violin and Yan Westerlund on drums.
The Chapel Hill, N.C., band's first record is All Alone in an Empty House, and if you haven't yet heard it, this Tiny Desk Concert represents an excellent way to introduce yourself.