Karen Peris
A Song is Way Above the Lawn


4.0
excellent

Review

by Sunnyvale CONTRIBUTOR (54 Reviews)
October 11th, 2021 | 39 replies


Release Date: 10/08/2021 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A lovely record for all ages

As an adult (a young one, but getting older everyday), it’s always interesting to look back on childhood. For those of us fortunate enough to have had a decently happy early life, there’s something inherently nostalgic about the whole exercise, but it’s hard to put yourself properly back in the mindset of your younger days. For me at least, the defining traits of childhood were a simultaneous sense of mystery about life and a feeling of constancy and ordered routine, resulting together in days and weeks passing slowly, even as there were a host of unexplored possibilities in all directions. Looking back as an adult, feeling the time go by all too fast, and having a jaded sense about the world’s realities, it’s tough to recapture that mindset. That’s what makes musician Karen Peris’ second solo effort, A Song Is Way Above The Lawn , so valuable. Peris, most famous as the lead singer and songwriter for indie band The Innocence Mission, bills this album as music for both children and adults, and as she puts it, a chance to “re-travel some of the wide expanse of childhood imagination and wonder”. The end result is a mellow listen which feels pure and innocent, and may well evoke nostalgia and emotion in even the most world-weary adults.

The album’s two defining characteristics are, first, a positive and warm outlook exploring a host of whimsical topics which will appeal to the inner child in all of us (regardless of age) and, second, its mild but sophisticated take on chamber pop/folk. Together, the album works wonderfully, producing a widely-appealing product. The peaceful music evokes a sense of home, even amidst the hubbub of urban living, and calls to mind sunny days, walks in the park, and comforting family excursions. It helps that the songs are absolutely pristine. While the energy factor here is quite low, every one of the album’s ten brief tracks are stunningly pretty. They are primarily piano-driven, but a veritable orchestra of other instruments assist (played either by Karen Peris or her husband or her two children, appropriately this a family project). Accordion and strings in particular add a wondrous quality, alongside the singer-songwriter’s gorgeously reedy vocals. This is a remarkably consistent effort, but perhaps my favorite two tracks would be the wholesome “This Is A Song In Wintertime” and the pastoral “For A Giraffe”.

A Song Is Way Above The Lawn is very much a mood album. It’s a laid-back and positively drowsy listen which will only fully hit when one is in the proper headspace (at least for adults). When the feeling’s right, though, this is a proper stunner. A set of polished and perfectly executed tracks which reach a nearly unique atmospheric angle, this record explores a variety of themes through references to animals, libraries, seasons, and other such staples of a child's existence. I may just be a childless adult (so what do I know?), but I wholeheartedly endorse this record for music lovers of all ages.



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user ratings (10)
3.8
excellent


Comments:Add a Comment 
Sunnyvale
Contributing Reviewer
October 11th 2021


2949 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Short (but hopefully lovely) review for a short but lovely album

parksungjoon
October 11th 2021


38237 Comments


legit read that as karen penis and had to do a double take

Digging: Slint - Tweez

Dewinged
Staff Reviewer
October 12th 2021


26057 Comments


Saw this being promoted as an album for kids so I ignored it but I do love The Innocence Mission and Karen's voice so I may give it a go. Nice read as always Sunny!

Digging: Blackwater Holylight - Silence/Motion

WatchItExplode
October 12th 2021


9346 Comments


Knew this would be a sunny review! This was a pleasant enough background listen at work last Friday.

Digging: Floating Cloud Music - Love is a Burning Building That Will Suffocate Us

Sunnyvale
Contributing Reviewer
October 12th 2021


2949 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Cheers guys!



Hope you enjoy, Dewi!

ArsMoriendi
October 12th 2021


35375 Comments


Amazing album cover

It's like a children's old storybook from the 1960s.

Digging: Deerhunter - Turn It Up Faggot

Purpl3Spartan
October 12th 2021


1498 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Heck yea this got a review. Nice album

Digging: Bilmuri - 400LB BACK SQUAT

BlushfulHippocrene
Staff Reviewer
October 12th 2021


3780 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Oh man. Love Innocence Mission and this is a great review. Very excited.

Sowing
Moderator
October 12th 2021


39360 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

This sounds wonderful and right up my alley. Thanks for reviewing it, will check.

Digging: Biffy Clyro - The Myth of the Happily Ever After

BlushfulHippocrene
Staff Reviewer
October 12th 2021


3780 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

In love w/ This Is A Song In Wintertime, wow.

Sunnyvale
Contributing Reviewer
October 12th 2021


2949 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks guys!



Suspect you'll like this, @Sowing!



@Blush, yeah, that song is amazing and this is definitely up your alley.

DDDeftoneDDD
October 12th 2021


18916 Comments


My wife loves giraffes

Digging: She Said Destroy - Succession

SteakByrnes
October 12th 2021


25120 Comments


Thought that artist name was something else lmao

Digging: Every Time I Die - Radical

porcupinetheater
Contributing Reviewer
October 12th 2021


8673 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Beautiful record thx for putting it on radar, Sunny V

Sunnyvale
Contributing Reviewer
October 12th 2021


2949 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

@SteakByrnes, yes, easily mistaken, haha



@porcupinetheater, thank you sir! Glad you enjoyed.

botb
October 12th 2021


14824 Comments


Karen penis

LeddSledd
October 12th 2021


6243 Comments


Karen penis

Sowing
Moderator
October 13th 2021


39360 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

One song in and not really sure why this is billed as a children's album



Sounds very indie romance film soundtrack so far and I am of course loving it

Gnocchi
Staff Reviewer
October 13th 2021


15263 Comments


Subscribed because Sowing said so

Sowing
Moderator
October 13th 2021


39360 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I'm halfway through this now (just a 29 mins total runtime here), and my opinion hasn't changed about this being a gorgeous and whimsical slice of indie-folk. I hear no cheesy choruses or children's music tropes. This is no more kid's music than Grouper, just seems weird for her to throw that tag on this one because it will deter so many would-be listeners.



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