Lazarus Like Trees We Grow Up to be Satellites (The Backwards America)

Lazarus Like Trees We Grow Up to be Satellites (The Backwards America)
It’s fitting that Lazarus’ sophomore effort has been released in winter, as it’s one of the saddest, most emotionally stirring albums I’ve heard in recent years. Like that coldest of seasons is wont to do, it ushers in feelings of desperation and depression that weigh heavily on the heartstrings and mind. Billed as a collaborative effort between William Trevor Montgomery and producer Scott Solter, Lazarus is still clearly Montgomery’s vision — Like Trees is far too personal and naked to come from two people’s souls, but the addition of more prominent and moving arrangements (something that was sorely lacking on Lazarus’ 2003 bedroom-recorded debut, Songs For an Unborn Sun) is Solter’s key contribution, and a potent one at that, adding incredible emotional depth to Montgomery’s heart-wrenching outpourings of loss, guilt and longing. Like Trees is filled with soft and compelling songs that strike so close to the heart of human pain, they’re incredibly hard to take, but music that can compel audiences to feel as deeply as this (it can easily reduce a happy person to tears) is a rare feat. The absolutely brilliant "Fashion / Murder,” with its hypnotising arrangements and perfectly recorded female choir is perhaps the most moving song I’ve heard all year, and practically worth the price of admission alone. This is a remarkable album that makes the sophomore slump myth seem like an old wives tale. (Temporary Residence)