Posts Tagged ‘Lancaster’

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Lancaster, PA’s Innocence Mission have been making delicate dreampop for longer than that descriptor has existed, with Karin Peris’ heartbreaking voice forever the star of the show. Draped in aching melancholy, “See You Tomorrow” is among the group’s finest in a span over a 30 year plus career. Alternative folk act The Innocence Mission first gained recognition in 1989, when they found chart success with their self-titled debut album. By the time the band released their third album, Glow, in 1995, they had earned a zealous cult following that remains loyal to them to this day. Their songs tend to be exquisitely crafted, featuring ethereally beautiful acoustic-based music and hauntingly introspective and thoughtful lyrics, all combining into a sound that is at once delicate yet intense. The band, led by married couple Karen Peris (vocals, guitar, piano, organ) and Don Peris (guitars, drums vocals), originated when they first met in high school. Now, more than thirty years later, they (along with bassist Mike Bitts) are preparing to release their twelfth studio album,

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“.

This is 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.

With wistful strings and distant acoustic guitar, “On Your Side” sounds like the first chill of autumn.

Such a strange time in my life (probably yours too), but all this has lead me to a deeper awareness of every good thing around me. My heart goes out to those who are making such huge sacrifices for their communities and families, those who are suffering from illness or loneliness, and those who have lost jobs or loved ones.
My hope for this year is that I am more appreciative of the good things in my life and more attentive to the suffering of those around me. I want to believe that this season is preparing all of us to stand together in more meaningful ways, starting in the smallness of our daily lives and growing to reach our communities and then the dark and lonely corners of our world.

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Released October 24th, 2020

 

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Lancaster, PA’s Innocence Mission started out three decades ago as a dream pop band with an alt-rock backbone, but after drummer Steve Brown left for a culinary career, the group saw it as an opportunity to explore a more delicate, folkier side, beginning with 1999’s Birds of My Neighborhood. They’ve never looked back and have been all the better for it. See You Tomorrow is The Innocence Mission’s 12th album and one of their best, with Karen Peris’ heartbreaking voice as always the star of the show. Songs like the demure “At Lake Maureen,” “On Your Side” and “St. Francis and the Future” offer shards of dust-speckled light for that voice to ride upon, with arrangements that never overpower but also offer wonderful surprises, like when the strings and percussion kick in midway through opener “The Brothers Williams Said.” It’s a beautiful strain of melancholy that Peris imbues in these songs, tinged ever so slightly with nostalgia, like that first chilly night in August that has you reaching for a sweater, knowing summer’s days are numbered.

Alternative folk act The Innocence Mission first gained recognition in 1989, when they found chart success with their self-titled debut album. By the time the band released their third album, Glow, in 1995, they had earned a zealous cult following that remains loyal to them to this day. Their songs tend to be exquisitely crafted, featuring ethereally beautiful acoustic-based music and hauntingly introspective and thoughtful lyrics, all combining into a sound that is at once delicate yet intense. The band, led by married couple Karen Peris (vocals, guitar, piano, organ) and Don Peris (guitars, drums vocals), originated when they first met in high school. Now, more than thirty years later, they (along with bassist Mike Bitts) are preparing to release their twelfth studio album, See You Tomorrow (Thérèse Records), on January 17th. Speaking from their home/studio in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, they exude the same warmth and sincerity that can be found in their music.

Band Members:
Karen Peris – vocals, guitar, piano, organ
Don Peris – guitars, drums, vocals
Mike Bitts – bass guitar, vocals

The Innocence Mission – See You Tomorrow

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Two demos recorded over the past bit of time. All proceeds will go to the Standing Rock Medic & Healer Council to support their fight against the Dakota Access Pipeline.

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One to Another engineered & mixed by Keith Abrams
Alice recorded in our practice space.
Written and performed by The Districts

Sympathy and the Lion | Photo via sympathyandthelion.bandcamp.com

Is it possible that Born in the U.S.A. is actually Bruce Springsteen’s best album? The sound might have catapulted The Boss into megastardom some 31 years ago, but it seemed to more commercial to his past work, his lyrical outlook, what we knew of him as a person…was it his pop record,  But in terms of songwriting – and this is something I’m starting to come around too decades after first hearing the album but listening to those songs so many times  –Bruce was so on point on that record,

Take away all those 80s production trappings and just listen to the music and the lyrics – like in the haunting, Nebraska-esque version of the title song found on Tracks,, or the plethora of versions of “I’m On Fire”…or Lancaster based duo Sympathy and the Lion’s brand new version of “Glory Days”

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Sympathy’s John Shavel and Michael Burke take the song down to a moving piano and harmonica, and without the bouncy big band pop, you get to focus on the lyrics – where Springsteen candidly details the psychic trials of aging, of splintering off from old friends, of watching your dreams fade and watching yourself fall from your youthful heights, even if you used to be at the top of the pack. It’s a beautiful, appreciate-what-you-got song, and Sympathy really makes it their own: and makes me appreciate it anew.

Sympathy and the Lion play a set tonight at World Cafe Live when they open for Red Wanting Blue at World Cafe Live.