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a song is way above the lawn

by Karen Peris

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erinmack
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erinmack I've had Karen's (and Don's!) beautiful words and melodies with me during the last two decades of my life journey, a companion I return to when nothing else quite fits. The elevation of the rote; the spirituality of the pedestrian; the constant reach towards gratitude, joy, and connection. We are all blessed to have Karen's voice in the world, and this contribution to her body of work is a transcendent one. Seeing her clear joy when she plays these songs elevates them to the heavens! Favorite track: george in the car.
Andrew Karpinski
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Andrew Karpinski This is such a beautiful cycle of songs. There are so many tracks on this album - all of them, in fact - that combine music, production, lyrics and voice to recreate the world from a child’s eyes. That this album s a family project, and recorded locally, just further adds to the character. I bought the first Innocence Mission album as a no risk disc at Tower Records in 1989, and your music continues to speak to me., whatever stage of life I happen to be in. Thanks for the music! Favorite track: superhero.
Mikael S.
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Mikael S. La voix unique de Karen Peris, sa sensibilité avec des chansons magnifiques, une artiste rare. Merci. Favorite track: for a giraffe.
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  • Record/Vinyl + Digital Album

    On translucent grass green vinyl. Includes illustrated inner sleeve with lyrics. A 5x 8 print will be included with the Lawn vinyl LP. The print is the giraffe in the city park that is shown on the banner at the top of our home page. To begin to reduce unnecessary plastic, this item is not shrink-wrapped.

    Includes unlimited streaming of a song is way above the lawn via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
    ships out within 1 day
    Purchasable with gift card

      $22 USD

     

  • Compact Disc (CD) + Digital Album

    a 6 panel, heavy weight cardboard cd package, fully illustrated, with lyrics

    Includes unlimited streaming of a song is way above the lawn via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
    ships out within 1 day
    Purchasable with gift card

      $12 USD

     

  • Streaming + Download

    Includes unlimited streaming via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
    Purchasable with gift card

      $10 USD

     

1.
superhero You make me happy, I would write on a banner flying over the city. You would see it in colors all these miles. The day is opening. The weather will be fine. The trees will be strong. The trains and taxis will arrive. Hey, I see the way you are so kind to everyone you come by. Do you hear me cheering for you now? I am hollering across these grounds: you’re a superhero, superhero, superhero of mine. We take our cameras out to the zoo and ride the tram. The trees blur by, and then we can see how the animals are even in the clouds today. They return your smiles. Hey, I see the way you are so kind to everyone you come by. And do you hear me cheering for you now? I would sing it out across these grounds: you’re a superhero, superhero, superhero of mine.
2.
to the library I went to the library to see my friends. I went to the library to see my friends. Walked with a gentle lion, saying to me that his geometry was easier now. I went to the library to see my friends. I went to the library to see my friends. Holding on to guitars, we sailed in a boat through the rain in the yards, singing our songs. And it’s you and me, I’m not alone. It’s you and me, I’m not alone. I went to the library to see my friends. I went to the library to see my friends. Birthdays in gardens on rooftops, green in the middle of the wintertime, and snow in the summer. And it’s you and me, I’m not alone. It’s you and me, I’m not alone.
3.
i would sing along In the low light, in the lowest notes, I hear him singing sweetly. An elephant sings someone to sleep. And I would sing with him, on the steps of our building, in the city, in the very, very pinkish evening. We would be there waving to everyone driving by us on our street, and they would smile. And I would hear his song, and I would sing along, and I would sing along. In a film I saw, maybe last springtime, an elephant is painting, in blues and in greens and oranges. Maybe he is painting the sea and remembering his family vacationing at the seaside. I would swim by his side, look for shells at low tide, and pebbles shining in the water. And I would hear his song, and I would sing along, and I would sing along.
4.
george in the car George, I was at the kitchen table eating my bread, when this great light came from reading your poem. I haven’t been that surprised in recent memory. And there are cities in our house, and there are trees in our house since then. George in the car, a field of stars, lavender and white. And riding out over these long miles you’re waving to me a sign to be alive. George, I would like to say how I saw seven dogs on this one single morning. The sky was that kind of grey that is beautiful. They were traveling, going by. George in the car, a field of stars, lavender and white. And writing out over these long miles, you’re waving to me a sign: to be alive.
5.
this is a song in wintertime We’re standing in line, in the movie line. It’s cold. We see our breathing. And this is a song in wintertime. It’s strange to be out in evening. And standing underneath the same sky everybody sees the snow begin falling at the light of street lamps shining on the corner, lifting our eyes. And we all start to smile. And everybody starts talking to everybody. And now it’s really snowing. And we’re walking in to see the movie. But this will be the memory, that standing underneath the same sky everybody sees the snow begin falling at the light of street lamps shining on the corner, lifting our eyes. And we all start to smile, smile, smile.
6.
map for the orange daylight Sail on leaves, the radiant stars. On the sunny arm of the road embark. And my heart fills up with all. And my heart fills up with all the beautiful world, and our hope. Steady, on beat, on the sunny arm of the road, embark to the lovely hour. And my heart goes out to all. And my heart goes out to all, and the beautiful world of our hope. And my heart lifts up with all. And my heart lifts up with all the beautiful world of our hope.
7.
sister birds 02:18
sister birds Sister birds, will you call me out? Sister birds, will you wake me then? I do not want to lose any hour. I do not want to lose any hour. All the lawn and the house will flower in the lovely world of light. I will be free in the summertime. I want to be in the summertime. I can walk on for another mile. The canal and the road will shine. Even into the forest lies the lovely world of light. Songs I heard along these boulevards, all words gone, and also is my courage tried. But oh I’m alive. I wish I knew who lived in that house, and every side street I can’t go down, and every window to catch the sun, every window to catch the sun. And do they feel the same, everyone in the lovely world of light? Sister birds, will you call me out? Sister birds, will you wake me then? I do not want to lose any hour. I do not want to lose any hour. All the lawn and the house will flower in the lovely world of light.
8.
for a giraffe To ride a giraffe there, to ride a giraffe there. To reach for the leaves to feed him, and be light as cool air, and high on his back there, and burden not my old friend. And we will ride out into the morning, we will ride out into the morning. And we will ride out into the morning, eating breakfast in the park, and head out into the countryside, head out into the countryside, talking about small things, listening to peaceful skies. And we will ride to school in the morning, we will ride to school in the morning. And we will ride to school in the morning, and he will come back for me, three o’clock. And we’ll head out into the countryside, head out into the countryside, talking about small things, listening to peaceful skies.
9.
a song is way above the lawn Stayed awake talking with my mom. I stayed up talking with my dad. We were looking at the stars. We planned packing up the car for the long, long drive to the west coast, for the five day drive to the redwoods, and the seaside drive into Oregon. Now we’re up, up early, with the sun. A song is way above the lawn. A song is way above the lawn. I wake to the sounds. The dishes clink, the low piano rolls along the lawn, is coming from, coming from, William’s, William’s, or somewhere, somewhere, and is beautiful. Arrives in a country of sun. A song is way above the lawn. A song is way above the lawn.
10.
flowers 02:19
flowers Beautiful child, tomorrow we will walk under the pink magnolias, and many signs of spring will sing to our eyes and our ears, and we will hear every song of every bird. And we will bloom in love from the buildings like flowers. Yes, we will bloom in love, and love will shine forever. Dearest of friends, tomorrow when we wake the yard will soon fill with the song of your voice, and the rooms with squares of sun. And we will be listeners and we will be peacemakers. And we will bloom in love from the buildings like flowers. Yes, we will bloom in love, and love will shine forever, forever.

about

On translucent grass green vinyl. Also on cd and digital.

“Faced with the songs of Karen Peris, we surrender. Any resistance is useless.” Telerama France - Francois Gorin 4 stars **** (highest rating)

“An intense reverie... While stylistically echoing ‘The Brothers Williams Said’ from the innocence mission’s last album, A Song Is Way Above The Lawn is more spare and more personal... Accordion, melodica, and strings add colour.” MOJO – 4 stars ****

“Karen Peris nestles into the corners of beauty, articulating images and ideas just out of view.” NPR Music

“A sublime solo album... Peris creates an intimate atmosphere, guided by piano and accordion... This is a refreshing and life-affirming delight.” The Sun – 4 stars ****

“Album of the week…this is an achingly beautiful album that's wonderful for anyone” - Brooklyn Vegan

“A well-kept secret by a few lucky people like the works of Mark Eitzel or Paul Buchanan, an absolutely obvious and luminous music. We come out amazed at listening to this album. Entering a Karen Peris record is entering a territory of empathy and tenderness.” Greg Bod, Benzine

“I cannot help but confess how much the music of this Pennsylvania artist moves me with each listening.” Francesco Amoroso, TRISTE Indie Sunset in Rome

“The album guides the world gently and with gentle acoustic sounds, encourages you to look at and admire the surroundings in detail, describes and explains the beauty and fascination of everyday life.” MusikBlog Entedeck Neue Music


“Cascading melodies and exquisite chamber-pop backing produce a suitably decorative ambience for Karen’s wondrous vocal, an instrument of real beauty itself. Songs like ‘Superhero’ and ‘George In The Car’ tap into universal childhood memories that will resonate with young and old alike.” Shindig – 4 stars ****

“Every song here is touching and feels worthwhile. A Song Is Way Above the Lawn feels restorative and may even leave some misty-eyed.” Marcy Donelson, All Music Guide

“Karen Peris’ voice settles on melodies that have the clarity of nursery rhymes to evoke pleasures…, without silliness, a musical journey in imagination and gentleness.” Le Monde

credits

released October 8, 2021

All songs written by Karen Peris.
© 2021Umbrella Day Music / BMI


Instruments:

Karen Peris plays piano, electric and nylon string guitars, accordion, melodica, pump organ, bass guitar (3), and sings.
Don Peris plays drums and upright bass throughout, also high electric guitar on songs 1 and 9.
Drew Peris plays violin on songs 1, 3, and 4.
Anna Peris plays viola on songs 1, 3, and 4.

Recorded and mixed in Lancaster, Pa. by Don and Karen Peris in 2020 and 2021.
Illustrations by Karen Peris.

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the innocence mission Lancaster, Pennsylvania

See You Tomorrow -
“Both sweet and refined, one of the most beautiful albums of the new year, recalling both 60s bands like the Mamas and the Papas, and contemporaries Beach House and Beirut” Rolling Stone, France

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