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.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by James Christopher Monger