In the video for "Rites," Lost in the Trees' haunting new single, a man and woman run through the woods as lyrics flash over them. There's no dialogue, no narrative and no real visual effects. And that's exactly the point: the North Carolina band decided to strip back their sonic sprawl on their upcoming album, Past Life, and they've applied that same aesthetic to their videos.
"While writing and recording Past Life, we worked to lift layers away, strip down and distill the core elements of the songs, which is reflected in the video," frontman Ari Picker tells Rolling Stone. "I want to create a world with as little as possible and the video speaks to these minimal aspects of the album. Visually, I was really drawn to the image of individuals passing through light and into shadow, this kind of fleeting glimpse."
The song itself is fragile and beautiful, Picker's ghostly tenor wafting over sparse guitar and a barely-there drum groove. He describes his lyrical approach as lyric painting: "[It's] kind of blurring some abstract and also very concrete images and ideas. It's the journey of shedding one life and moving to the next. It ties into the theme of the record; two souls passing through one life-realm, plane, universe – chasing and finding one another and splitting apart."
Past Life will be released on February 18th on ANTI-. It is available for pre-order on iTunes.