All Alone in an Empty House


Highbrow and lowbrow find a happy medium on Lost in the Trees’ third album. Intricate classical arrangements effortlessly weave around accordion and guitar, creating an amalgam that band founder Ari Picker calls “orchestral folk.” Picker’s rich, evocative sounds lend further gravity to intensely personal lyrics about sexual abuse, dying infants and depression, sung in a boyish tenor reminiscent of Sufjan Stevens. Although there are full-fledged classical pieces and purely folk ballads here, the best moments on All Alone come when Picker transcends genre. On “Walk Around the Lake,” the combination of dramatic strings and musical saw is both eerie and captivating. “Fireplace” finds Picker’s vulnerable vocals transforming into a raw howl backed by fuzzy indie-rock guitars and crisp violins. Ambitious and thought-provoking, All Alone marks Ari Picker as one of music’s most creative young talents. –Juli Thanki

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