#20 on the 2012 Musical Bacon Calendar
A Church That Fits Our Needs by Lost In The Trees
And now for something depressing.
There are sad songs about breakups. There are sad songs about being unemployed. And there are sad songs about being repressed. But none of those match the sadness found in songs about death. A Church That Fits Our Needs, the new album from Lost in the Trees is about death. Specifically, the suicide of the lead singer/songwriter Ari Picker’s mother in 2008.
The band’s previous album originally came out in 2007, and flew under the radar, unnoticed. I haven’t yet gone back to listen to it, but I would wager that it’s a drastically different album from Church. Picker internalized his mother’s suicide, and took 4 years from her death to come out with the new album. The result is a beautiful, orchestral, melancholy masterpiece not unlike The Cure’s Disintegration.
This is not a comparison I throw around lightly. Disintegration is one of those albums permanently lodged in my Top 10 of All Time. Church has a few years to grow on me before it could ever reach that status, but for those of you out there that don’t already have a space filled in your proverbial best-of list with Disintegration, then you should definitely give Church a try.
I got to see the band perform live shortly after this album came out, back in March. I wrote about it over at Another Rainy Saturday:
The band is often compared to Radiohead in their arrangements, but the story and instrumentation place them closer to Cloud Cult in my mind. Like Cloud Cult, Lost in the Trees’ emotional pulchritude (yep, I said it) stems from the tragic death of an immediate family member, in this case the suicide of Picker’s mother. The rawness created by the tragedy enabled Picker to channel feelings typically pushed far, far away in everyday people.
Strangely, and happily, the dark subject matter did not dampen the spirits of the band as they performed. There was much laughter on stage. While most of the audience impatiently awaited the headliner, those of us paying attention were left with a great sense of elation and release that made for a truly moving performance.
I like feeling melancholy. Oddly enough, feeling melancholy makes me happy. I don’t want to feel it all the time, and I definitely would not be called a “depressed” person by any stretch of the imagination (the glass is always half full over here), but albums like this turn something on (or off?) in me that puts me in a happy sad place. It’s a wonderful feeling, and this album is a wonderful album by doing that for me. Give it another year or two, and I’ll circle back to see if I should have ranked this album higher than #20 on this year’s countdown. #20 is a more accurate representation of how much I listened to this album compared to numbers 1-19. But number of times listened doesn’t always equal “good.” We’ll see.
21. Hospitality by Hospitality
22. Free Dimensional by Diamond Rings
23. History Speaks by Deep Sea Diver
24. A Different Ship by Here We Go Magic
25. Negotiations by the Helio Sequence
26. Moms by Menomena
27. The Sound of the Life of the Mind by Ben Folds Five
28. Shields by Grizzly Bear
29. Every Child A Daughter, Every Moon A Sun by The Wooden Sky
30. Fragrant World by Yeasayer
31. Reign of Terror by Sleigh Bells