Lost In The Trees

The Crocodile Presents:

Lost In The Trees

Icy Demons, Western Haunts

Wed, March 26, 2014

8:00 pm

The Crocodile

Seattle, WA

$12 Adv.

This event is all ages

Lost In The Trees
Lost In The Trees
When Lost In The Trees set out to record Past Life, their third album for ANTI-, they knew they needed a break with the past. Frontman Ari Picker looked to move beyond the themes of loss that fueled two emotional, densely personal collections of songs. Channeling the liberating happiness he felt in his young marriage into his method, he came up with a new approach to writing: "I wanted to reach out and grab the music rather than have it come from some internal place." On past releases Picker had used an expanded six-member band to render his carefully composed, classical-inflected songs, bringing them fully arranged to the studio for the band to perform. For the new album, the band was pared to a lean electronic-rock four-piece, and in this new configuration Lost In The Trees took to the road to workshop the songs that would become Past Life. Immediately, the new tracks evidence more than a band pared down; the arrangements are modern, spare, minimal, emphasizing groove and rhythm, blending the sonic architecture of 21st century electronic dance music, the austere emotion of the minimalist composers, and the sensual swerve of post-Bowie 80s pop.
Having crafted the songs to create a maximum impact in a live setting, the band made their next break with past practice, electing to work with an outside producer for the first time. Nicolas Vernhes, whose credits include breakthrough albums from Deerhunter, Dirty Projectors, Animal Collective, and Wild Nothing, endorsed the band's new minimal aesthetic, and the question in the studio became, "How much can we strip away" With an approach that forefronts beats and basslines, Vernhes and the band lift away the orchestral density of the previous albums – the emotional analog of Picker's intense lyrics – leaving a more direct framework of soul-inflected guitar lines, throbbing groove, and Picker's soaring vocal hooks.
Fans that came to the band lured by the lush classicism of All Alone In An Empty House and A Church That Fits Our Needs (the Wall Street Journal's album of the year in 2012) will not be disappointed. After all, the band are known for their unique orchestral sound, and Church, with its intense narrative of loss, drew lavish praise from all quarters, both as an "exquisite exercise in the seduction of melancholy" (Iowa Press-Citizen) and "a stirring blend of modest rusticity and urbane ambition" (New York Times). The haunting lyricism of Picker's voice and melodies has not diminished in the new sparer approach, but instead rises to the fore, bringing out that timeless quality of the melodies that is the common ground of both folk and pop music. This pop quality, buried but always present in previous efforts, shines on Past Life; not pop in any trivial, retro sense, but the yearning lilt of Harry Nilsson or Mark Hollis, that floating melodicism that Relix found so "achingly beautiful."
Picker, for one, is pleased to be moving on from the highly personal lyrics of the previous albums to more universal themes. He singles out "Glass Harp" from the new album, describing it as "a half awake song to my wife," adding that it may be "as much of a love song as I can write." On "Daunting Friend" Picker promises his companion "we'll float around the town," a cinematic image that recalls the romantic mysticism of Wings of Desire more than it does any past Lost In The Trees lyric. This new openness in Picker's imagist lyrics – loose, joyful, embracing – tends on Past Life toward meditations on what Picker describes as "recognizing impermanence," all rendered by Lost In The Trees' greatest instrument (perhaps overshadowed in the past by the violins and harps): Picker's profound tenor voice. The voice the New York Times called the "essential embodiment of vulnerability" becomes on Past Life the load-bearing wall – it's a burden this extraordinary instrument, and Picker, are more than ready to take on.
Icy Demons
Icy Demons
Icy Demons is a Los Angeles based avant pop outfit featuring members of Califone, Rainbow Arabia, and Cursive. The band has released three albums, touring and supporting a slew of modern favorites such as Of Montreal, Yeasayer, Ariel Pink, Arcade Fire, and Slint.

"Culling from late-sixties prog-rock and eighties pop…eclectic and fantastically weird. At once haunting and uplifting, each track is a musical grab bag of genres that haven't been named." - Impose Magazine

"Icy Demons are one of the most gratifying, intelligent, dogball-zany acts in modern music…" – Tiny Mix Tapes
Western Haunts
Western Haunts
Fueled by uprising and in the spirit of the folk revival music tradition, Western Haunts’ moody, psych-tinged fourth release, The Ambassador E.P., follows in the footsteps of its predecessor’s expansive, anthemic song craft, the Utøya E.P.(2011). Recorded and produced by the band in a collection of storage units along a dilapidated stretch of Seattle highway, The Ambassador E.P. (OUT JULY 2012) is a collection of songs penned for the disenfranchised and a sonic wash of populist zeal.

Western Haunts’ musical progression from reverb drenched, Americana into a driving, psychedelic rock outfit continues to evolve on The Ambassador E.P. The band’s knack for layering lush organ and vocal soundscapes with pulsing, percussive, rhythms and spiraling guitar lines, blanket the listener in sound on the new release. Ominous lyrical themes weave a cautionary tale of living in a rich eats poor world of talking heads, crooks, cronies and inequity. On the eve of Woody Guthrie’s 100th birthday and the twilight of a turbulent period of global unrest, Western Haunt’s latest work poses the question of what do we do the morning after.

Western Haunts released their 2nd full length album Shed Your Summer Shell in the fall of 2010, receiving critical praise and national CMJ radio airplay. The following summer stirred by the tragic events that took place in Norway and Japan, Western Haunts returned to the studio to record new material and release the Utøya E.P. in honor and celebration of their friends and family whose homes were impacted by tragedy.

With lazy melodies, lush guitars and thundering toms, Western Haunts' Alt-Country sound is a call to Midwestern revival, drenched in reverb and the ambience of shoe-gaze music. Western Haunts’ music and lyricist Jake Witt’s songs about lost summers in the rural Rust Belt and ghost stories from his Midwestern roots recently caught the attention of music attorney Gillian Barr (Arcade Fire, The National, The Decemberists) and tastemaker John Richards (KEXP 90.3FM).

Western Haunts music can be heard across the nation on CMJ radio stations and programming on MTV and FUEL TV. Live, Western Haunts have been playing bills with artists the likes of Jessica Lea Mayfield (Nonesuch Records) Moondoggies (Hardly Art) Frontier Ruckus (Ramseur Records) and Motopony, as well as in-studio performances on KEXP and currated shows by Seattle's City Arts Magazine and Seattle Weekly.
Venue Information:
The Crocodile
2200 2nd Ave
Seattle, WA, 98121
http://thecrocodile.com/index.html