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- Posted on Sep 3rd 2010 2:00PM by Mike Ayers
Picker logged time studying classical composition at Boston's Berklee College of Music and on 'Empty House,' he's not afraid to meld those arrangements with a Neutral Milk Hotel approach to folk rock. But look past the quirky nature of the sound and you'll find that Lost in the Trees explore something much more personal.
Two tracks that stand out happened to be two of the new ones added for the rerelease: 'A Room Where Your Paintings Hang' and 'We Burn the Leaves,' both of which stem from the passing of Picker's mother. "I just wanted to write ['A Room Where Your Paintings Hang'] about God and how he might invite her and have a relationship with her in heaven," Picker tells Spinner. "I wanted it to have some sort of heavenly, golden sound. That's where the brass comes from. When someone dies close to you, there's this weird ... the doors between life and death have opened up temporarily. Your brain can't really grasp it, the whole infinity concept."
For 'We Burn the Leaves,' Picker looks more into his past and his relationship with his mother, whose suicidal tendencies he had to confront as a child. "I recreated the vibe I felt when I was a kid, when I was dealing with all that stuff," he says. "All the imagery, for the most part, is places I remember. As I child, she was threatening her life constantly." It's heavy stuff, but Picker is proud that he branches out from that experience as well.
"It touches on that, but also touches on my reaction to classical music at school," he says. "What I would imagine someone has at temple or church -- a spiritual reaction to something you can't describe. I wasn't raised with any kind of faith but I've admired people with faith. I think I'm looking for a little bit of that in the genre of classical music."
Lost in the Trees are heading out on the road for a North American tour beginning Sept. 21 in Pittsburgh.