Friday, February 4, 2011

Album Review: "Time Taunts Me" by Lost in the Trees

"Time Taunts Me" was released on February 1, 2011
on Trekky Records
Lost in the Trees was a band that you couldn't go a day without hearing about in the North Carolina music scene in 2010.  They were a very busy band, especially after the re-issue of "All Alone In An Empty House" on Anti-Records.  Well the band started off 2011 with a bang as well, announcing the re-release of their 2007 EP, "Time Taunts Me" with Trekky Records, but also including three previously unreleased songs ("Ballroom Dancing", "Utterly Alone", and "Lamp Post"), giving the album a much grander feel than the initial EP.  These re-recordings show just how much Ari has evolved over the years as a musician, especially to go back and finish crafting such already brilliant songs and making them sound even better than before.

The album starts with "Lost In The Snow", starting with an upbeat drum track and the familiar sound that Lost in the Trees has become known for, the orchestra.  The track strips back down after about a minute to just an acoustic guitar, then is allowed to flesh out once again before Ari's vocals finally pierce through the listener as he sings of the familiar themes of winter, love, and loss for the next 40 minutes.  One thing that I love about Lost in the Trees is that these re-issues have come out and felt like completely different works, each one has been so much more grandiose than before, it feels like Ari has really begun to master his craft with these new pieces.

Ari's lyrics have always been deeply personal, but they're so real that they strike chords with the hearts of everyone, take for example lyrics like "I doubt who I am/What a tragic ending/Don't let go of my hand".  It's the brilliant layering and build that always leaves one taken aback though with Lost in the Trees, the way the band crafts such an aurally pleasing sonic rollercoaster that can almost control your emotions with every rise and fall.  You can truly immerse yourself in every single song, something that can't usually be said about an album.  "If You're Afraid Of The Dark" sticks out because of how bright and vibrant it sounds in comparison to the rest of the album, and I mean that in the best way possible.  The harmonizing of Ari and Emma shine through the most on this song, excellently capping off an already brilliant song.

The previously unreleased tracks, written at the time of the initial "Time Taunts Me" sessions, fit in excellently with the album.  "Ballroom Dancing" comes in with an electronic-waltzy feel, providing a sound that's completely unique to Lost in the Trees, and as the horns come in you begin to wonder just where this song will end up going to...much like the rest of the album.  That's where the brilliance lies in the "Time Taunts Me" re-issue, for the older fans it provides the joy of hearing the older songs re-worked and improved upon whilst newer fans get the joys of hearing these brilliant works for the first time.  Trekky has certainly kicked it's year off right so far because this re-issue thrusts Lost in the Trees even further into the spotlight than in 2010.  So old fan or new fan, pick this record up on Trekky's original 3-part package of vinyl, cd, and MP3 download. It comes in a sweet red vinyl that you definitely don't want to pass up on.

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