released July 13th, 2010

from the album - Rain (Setting Out In The Leaf Boat)

from all music

Centered around the husband-and-wife songwriting team of Don Peris (vocals, guitar) and Karen Peris (vocals, guitar, piano), Lancaster, PA, natives the Innocence Mission crafted a tasteful, politically correct brand of collegiate folk-pop similar to Sarah McLachlan or 10,000 Maniacs (in fact, the Perises appeared on Natalie Merchant's 1998 album Ophelia). With a rhythm section composed of bassist Mike Bitts and drummer Steve Brown, the Innocence Mission released their eponymous debut album in 1989; Umbrella followed in 1991. Thanks to the advent of the adult alternative radio format, the Innocence Mission were able to break out to a wider audience with the release of their third album, 1995's Glow; material from the album appeared on the soundtrack of the film Empire Records and on the television show Party of Five. The Innocence Mission remained quiet for several years, as the Perises made guest appearances on albums by Merchant, John Hiatt, and Joni Mitchell, in addition to having their first child. The latter experience greatly informed the group's fourth album, 1999's Birds of My Neighborhood, which witnessed the departure of drummer Brown, leaving the group officially a three-piece. The following year, the Innocence Mission released a limited-edition devotional album, Christ is My Hope, on their own Innocence imprint; in 2001, the group moved to What Are Records for Small Planes, which featured some songs from the Birds of My Neighborhood sessions that didn't make it onto that album. Befriended arrived in 2003 on the Badman label, followed in 2004 by a collection of lullabies and traditional works called Now the Day Is Over. The group's seventh and eighth studio albums, We Walked in Song and My Room in the Trees, arrived in 2007 and 2010, respectively.

album review

Lancaster, PA’s Innocence Mission has been serving up quaint, lovingly crafted, East coast collegiate folk pop since 1989. Often compared to the Sundays (IM vocalist Karen Peris’ diminutive voice and the Sundays’ Harriet Wheeler’s childlike croon can be nearly interchangeable), the band’s 20-year run has been as quiet as it has been remarkably solid, and their ninth studio album, My Room in the Trees, does little to tarnish their gentle supremacy. The husband-and-wife-led trio’s penchant for summery, fingerpicked, spiritually charged nostalgia is alive and well, especially on standout cuts like the Celtic-tinged opener “Rain (Setting Out in the Leaf Boat)” and its pastoral sibling “Happy Mondays.” My Room in the Trees doesn’t concern itself with the modern world; rather it presents an intimate appreciation of the verdant mundane. The soft, rolling “Leaves Lift High” wants nothing more than to celebrate the “tunnels of tall trees” that line a country bike ride, while the lovely “Spring” approaches its subject through the simple, metaphor-free eyes of a child. Longtime fans, especially those who enjoyed 2007’s We Walked in Song, will find My Room in the Trees the perfect tonic for the current speed of life, and while the pace can be glacial (to call an album sleepy, or sleep-inducing, often comes with negative connotations), it’s never an unpleasant journey.

Track Listing

1 Rain (Setting Out in the Leaf Boat) Peris 4:13
2 The Happy Mondays Peris, Peris 4:31
3 God Is Love Peris 3:37
4 Gentle the Rain at Home Peris 3:47
5 Spring Peris 3:57
6 All the Weather Peris, Peris 2:58
7 Rhode Island Peris, Peris 3:24
8 North American Field Song Peris 3:19
9 Mile-Marker Peris 2:02
10 The Leaves Lift High Peris 3:58
11 I'd Follow If I Could Peris 2:00
12 The Melendys Go Abroad Peris 1:31
13 Shout for Joy Peris 2:55