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Lost in the trees past life

Past Life

Lost In The Trees - 2014

Chapel Hill N.C. band Lost In The Trees has made their mark over their first few albums as being largely known for their lush string arrangements. On Past Life, their third full-length LP, the band stripped down it’s size as well as it’s sound. 2012’s A Church That Fits Our Needs was #1 on my top ten of 2012. (The Wall Street Journal agreed with me for what that’s worth) The album was largely about Ari’s mother’s suicide, and the hyper-emotional themes were accentuated by the lush strings. It’s gorgeous. Stripping down the size of the group on Past Life was probably a good way to save some money while touring, but it also allowed for a shift in the group’s sound. The strings are mostly replaced by synths and percussion. The band recorded all of the percussion with live instruments in the studio, but would overlay them separately to create layered drum-machine like sound. The overall album has a pulse of sixteenth notes that’s almost danceable. The odd time signatures are still there throughout the album, but they are often cleverly masked behind that pulse. It’s a more groove oriented sound. Past Life lyrically deals with the afterlife in various ways, and the music reflects it. The reverbs and synths combine with vocalist Emma Nadeau’s soprano counter melodies and harmonic support to set the mood. Producer Nicolas Vernhes and the band do an excellent job of maintaining the mood throughout, and the album art, and videos, mixed with that sound, create the complete package. Past Life isn’t the triumph that the previous album was, but it’s a very strong album. The band has a more rock sound live, where they seem to dig deep into the grooves in the songs. A little of that is lost in the production of the album, probably on purpose while trying to maintain a bit of their usual sound despite the changes. If you allow Ari’s delicate tenor and emotional lyrics to reveal themselves within the grooves on Past Life you won’t be sorry.

Posted by Tambe



I gave this a shot after your text about seeing them live and I didn't get the cleverness I was hoping to find. Perhaps I should start with their last one?

Posted over 5 years ago by MoiAndrew Scott

My text was more intended to say that you'd have liked the live show quite a bit. Their sound is more of a balance between Ari's tenor vocals, his hyper-emotional lyrics, and his string arrangements/cinematic approach to songwriting. There are plenty of odd time signatures to go around, but they're not trying to hit you in the face with them. The band's live show came across in such a way that I think you would have liked it. Yes, they're last album is stellar.

Posted over 5 years ago by TambegifTambe

Posted: 02/23/2014

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