The Innocence Mission | photo courtesy of the artist

Lancaster folk trio the innocence mission have made a lot of music in the project’s three-plus decades duration. And still, even after all these years, each new release feels freshly crafted in its own unique way. The innocence mission will return with a new album this summer, Sun on the Square, their 11th full-length and first since 2015’s hello I feel the same.

The forthcoming record’s first single, “Green Bus,” is making us eagerly anticipate innocence mission’s return. It’s a song soft enough to require that the volume be turned all the way up, and it walks the line between soothing, lulling quietness and compelling, attention-grabbing sonic twists. With haunting, whispering vocals, Karen Peris draws the listener in as if she’s sharing a secret to only her deepest confidantes. Combined with her lilting, fingerpicked guitar and joined by singer/guitarist Don Peris and upright bassist Mike Bitts, it’s clear that the innocence mission is back in full dreamy and emotive swing.

Perhaps Sufjan Stevens, evidently a big innocence mission fan, puts it best in his praise for the band: “What is so remarkable about Karen Peris’ lyrics is the economy of words, concrete nouns — incandescent bulbs and rowboats — which come to life with melodies that dance around the scale like sea creatures. Everyday objects begin to take on tremendous meaning.”

Sun on the Square will be released June 29 via Badman Recording Co. Listen to “Green Bus” below.