On "A Church That Fits Our Needs" Ari Picker processed his mother's suicide into subtly arranged orchestral folk songs. Two years later, the man from Carrboro in the US state of North Carolina seems to have finally left his past behind him. There are several signs of this: the album title "Past Life", the downsizing of his six-piece band to quartet strength and not least a stylistic reorientation towards artpop with electronica undertones. According to Picker, the decisive factor for this fundamental change was his marriage, which inspired him not to have to draw from his own soul life in songwriting, but to open up to more universal themes. The minimalist "Glass Harp" can be understood as an ode to Picker's wife, while the broken piano chords are reminiscent of Coldplay. In "Lady In White" and "Wake" the experimentation with orchestral sounds comes to light again, while in the title song the balance between machine and handmade parts was excellent.
Top track: Excos