When Sufjan Stevens first covered The Innocence Mission’s 1999 folk classic ‘Lakes Of Canada’, very few would’ve sussed it wasn’t an original rendition. At the time, he’d described the band as, “moving and profound” and labelled Karen Peris’ lyrics as an, “economy of words, concrete nouns which come to life with melodies that dance around the scale like sea creatures.” Though abstract and passionate in his description, it’s a worthy portrait of a band who’ve long surpassed the borders of their humble existence.
Stretching as far back as 1989, The Innocence Mission’s expansive back catalogue has forever pondered the passing of time and how we and those around us interact with inevitable change and progression. Their twelfth album, See You Tomorrow, is an introspection of people and how life’s daunting uncertainty impacts the love and anxiety attached to those we cherish. It’s a reflection of chronology, echoing where and what we’ve come from whilst simultaneously gazing at the winding road lying ominously ahead.
Behind dulcet textures of chinking piano keys and nylon strings, Peris’ sleek and beckoning vocal transcends any usual dimension of melody, seeping between the cracks of winding arrangements and teaming with tragic awe and wonder. On ‘Movie’, sepia slides of moments captured forever flicker alongside to the unstoppable rush of time. ‘John As Well’ ebbs and swells, fantasising over deeper, more intimate connections and desperately yearning to be understood. It’s a body of work that envisions grandiose proportion, sonically embodying the complexity of what makes us unique and innately human.