by Joseph Purcell
In 2018, Pennsylvania’s The Innocence Mission released the exquisite Sun on the Square – their debut on the Bella Union label. A captivating and shimmering traverse through love, friendship, relationships and community, which perfectly displayed the endearing talents of Karen Peris and husband Don. New album, See You Tomorrow, sees the band return with another delightful long player – which is steeped in the kind of moving and profound creations that have endeared them to long term fans.
Karen Peris lyrics are often anchored within the nature of everyday life – with daily interactions, relationships and discussions provide the catalyst for her work. In this respect, See You Tomorrow feels like a natural evolvement from its predecessor, as it covers the natural progressions and changes of a family, growing up, getting older and facing new challenges. It wrestles with the internal anxieties of protection and love, whilst reflecting on the importance of children finding their own road through the landscapes ahead.
The entrancing Movie flickers – emitting shades of Serge Gainsbourg or Lee Hazelwood. St Francis and The Future, inspired by the renaissance painter, Jan Van Eycks, perfectly complements the contrasting vision of bustling city life with a religious foreground vision. John As Well emits the classic folk tapestries for which the Innocence Mission are most recognised, and is a perfect display of Peris’ voice. While On Your Side flows with an understated eloquence – documenting the passing of those close to us, yet pondering their continued existence beside us – ‘In my dream, I would be in Paris with my mom, Karen Peris sings. ‘In cafes she would sip coffee, she would be smiling on, she’d say, ‘I have never let you out of my sight. I have not gone.’’
See You Tomorrow feels very much like the next step in the evolution of a quite remarkable band. This is a record that feels as fresh and relevant as ever. Long may they continue to provide the perfect soundtrack to the ebbs and flows of life.
Secret Meeting score: 82