There's been a consistent and gentle purpose to The Innocence Mission — Karen Peris' band with singer/guitarist Don Peris and bassist Mike Bitts — to seek out the small riches of the world. Sun on the Square, its thirteenth album in 29 years, is quintessentially Innocence Mission, with arrangements that crown these songs like flowering garlands.
"Green Bus," with the wide open heart of Peris' lyrics accompanied by fingerpicked guitar and strings, illuminates and encapsulates its animating search:
And what could I bring you,
now in the meantime?
Fruit from the sunlight,
quartz from the bay?
And where will I find this,
perfect and wondrous?
I look into shops,
I slip into rain.
"I cannot find a thing beautiful enough for you again," Peris sings, yet offers this song wrapped in gilded, animated paper, pulled from Peris' rich, green-and-ochre art.
Sun on the Square comes out June 29 via Badman Recording Co. (physical, digital) and Bella Union (Europe).