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THE INNOCENCE MISSION

The Innocence Mission

Sun On The Square - 2024 Repress

    For listeners of the innocence mission, the Lancaster, Pennsylvania trio are beyond a favorite band, more like a beloved companion, such is their intensity and fragility of their sound and vision, spearheaded by Karen Peris' heartbreaking, breathtaking voice

    Those fans include Sufjan Stevens and Sam Beam (Iron & Wine), who have both covered innocence mission songs, and in whose company the trio deserve to be bracketed.

    "All I cannot say I hope you know, all you cannot say I hope I can hear," sings Karen Peris on "Look Out from Your Window," the strong, circular, and somewhat quirky third track from the innocence mission's latest album, Sun on the Square. These lines, possibly spoken to her children -- one of whom actually plays viola on the song-- could be called emblematic for the album.

    In their own way, Karen and her husband and fellow guitarist, Don Peris, have spent years trying to voice the inexpressible. Since forming the innocence mission in 1985 with Mike Bitts, upright bassist and friend from their Catholic high school, the dreamy, orchestral folk band have spent ten full-lengths speaking to our collective memory and awe at life's mysteries. Their songs are full of sensory imagery and deeply felt instrumentation, and it's their unique way of trying to approach universal joys and sorrows that allows the band to achieve the emotional connection with their listeners that makes them so special.

    Sufjan Stevens talked to NPR about the innocence mission's music, saying "...what I always come back to, after the din and drum roll, is the small song that makes careful observations about everyday life. This is what makes the music by the innocence mission so moving and profound."

    TRACK LISTING

    Records From Your Room
    Green Bus
    Look Out From Your Window 
    Shadow Of The Pines
    Buildings In Flower
    Sun On The Square
    Light Of Winter
    Star Of Land And Sea
    An Idea Of Canoeing / Galvanic

    The Innocence Mission

    Now The Day Is Over - 2024 Reissue

      The Innocence Mission's best selling album in nearly two decades will now be available for the first time on vinyl - Jazz-tinged and dreamy, this offering from the Innocence Mission collects standards and traditional songs that singer Karen Peris has sung to her children as lullabies since they were born - The album features new album art (created by Karen Peris) and a new version of the song "Edelweiss" that is available only on this LP.

      AllMusic called the record "an absolutely beguiling collection of standards," describing it as "a benefit collection of cover songs that are all cantered reverie akin to dreaming. Calling them all lullabies would be stretching a little bit, but the presentations are such that they might as well be." They described "My Love Goes With You" as "perhaps the most beautiful and tender song on the outing", before summarizing that the album "could have been merely a curiosity piece, a curious addition to a mysterious catalogue by a singular group. Instead, it is nothing less than a wondrous little gem."

      "Lead singer Karen Peris of the innocence mission turns American standards into lullabies on the group's sixth CD, Now The Day Is Over." - NPR Weekend Edition Saturday

      "An album of timeworn standards was probably inevitable eventually for the Innocence Mission, given that singer Karen Peris distinctive imprint of a voice and husband Don Peris talent for guitar-textured moodscapes makes the band ideally suited for interpretive excursions. In its own way, though, Now The Day Is Over stands with the bands most fully realized work to date." - Peter Blackstock, No Depression


      The Innocence Mission

      See You Tomorrow

        Love. Connection. Community. Understanding. Most of us experience these aspects through the prism of family and friends. But not everybody can turn those feelings into song, especially not with the beauty and sensitivity of Pennsylvania trio the innocence mission, fronted by Karen Peris and husband Don. Following their Bella Union album debut Sun On The Square, which won the band some of their best-ever reviews, they have made another exquisite and touching album, See You Tomorrow. A record steeped in awe and wonder, intense longing, sadness and joy; a rich sequence of songs that attempt to describe the essence of what makes us human.

        Sufjan Stevens, who has covered the innocence mission’s classic ‘Lakes Of Canada’, once called their music “moving and profound. What is so remarkable about Karen Peris' lyrics is the economy of words, concrete nouns which come to life with melodies that dance around the scale like sea creatures.”

        The band recorded See You Tomorrow in the Peris’ basement (and the dining room where the piano sits). Karen wrote and sang ten of the album’s eleven songs, and plays guitars, piano, pump organ, accordion, electric bass, melodica, mellotron, and an old prototype strings sampler keyboard. Don contributes guitars, drums, vocal harmonies, and one lead vocal on his song ‘Mary Margaret In Mid-Air’. Fellow founder member Mike Bitts adds upright bass to four songs including ‘On Your Side’, the album’s first single.

        TRACK LISTING

        1. The Brothers Williams Said
        2. On Your Side
        3. Movie
        4. We Don’t Know How To Say Why
        5. St. Francis And The Future
        6. At Lake Maureen
        7. John As Well
        8. This Boat
        9. Mary Margaret In Mid-Air
        10. Stars That Fall Away From Us
        11. I Would Be There

        The Innocence Mission

        Sun On The Square

          For listeners of the innocence mission, the Lancaster, Pennsylvania trio are beyond a favorite band, more like a beloved companion, such is their intensity and fragility of their sound and vision, spearheaded by Karen Peris’ heartbreaking, breathtaking voice. Those fans include Sufjan Stevens and Sam Beam (Iron & Wine), who have both covered innocence mission songs, and in whose company the trio deserve to be bracketed.

          Now, with “Sun On The Square”, their first album in four years and first UK/European release in over a decade, the trio have joined the Bella Union family, following Karen’s guest appearance on “Ojalá” by Lost Horizons, the band collective co-created by label skipper Simon Raymonde.

          “There’s less than a handful of artists on my Bella Union dream list,” he explains. “The Innocence Mission are on there but they’ve remained an elusive mystery, and believe me, I’ve tried! I’ve been a fan as long as I can remember. From the second I heard Karen’s voice, I’ve been smitten. Birds Of My Neighborhood is in my Top Three albums of all time. It’s a heartbreaker though. Guarantees tears. But the more the tears fall, the deeper I go!”

          STAFF COMMENTS

          Barry says: Beautiful tender fingerpicked guitars, brittle ballads and more than a hint of that childlike Newsom vocal peeking through. Sun On The Square is a beautifully realised and enchantingly airy work, an essential for any folk fans.

          TRACK LISTING

          1 Records From Your Room
          2 Green Bus
          3 Look Out From Your Window
          4 Shadow Of The Pines
          5 Buildings In Flower
          6 Sun On The Square
          7 Light Of Winter
          8 Star Of Land And Sea
          9 An Idea Of Canoeing
          10 Galvanic


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