Published Feb 18, 2014Lost In The Trees' last album, A Church That Fits Our Needs, was in essence a very moving tribute to the mother of their frontman Ari Picker. He worked through the sadness of her suicide and created a beautiful collection of songs in the process. Past Life initially seems positively upbeat compared to its predecessor, but it turns out that Picker has just changed his tack: instead of relying on sparseness for a very literal bleakness, he's honed his lyrical imagery to convey the melancholy.
Past Life is definitely an unexpected step forward for the band, typified by the driving beat and guitars on the title track. Their once signature orchestral arrangements have been dialled back, leaving a more conventional sound. The band have trimmed their numbers from six to four, so there is more studio trickery and electronics involved this time around, too. The star of the show, however, is still Picker's tenor voice, which has welcoming warmth despite delivering austere words at times. Lost In The Trees might not be as distinctive as they once were, but they still make highly emotional music; it's just better disguised than it was in the past. (Anti)