Founded in 2009 by Patrick Burke (guitar, brass), Andrew Kuhar (vocals, guitar, keys), and Nicholas Kuhar (drums, percussion), The Commonwealth has since written, recorded, and produced four albums; their most recent work is The Victory Garden LP, which they primarily recorded with Paul Hamann of Suma Recording Studio. Hamann served as lead engineer for The Black Keys' breakthrough Attack & Release, and helped The Commonwealth capture the bulk of The Victory Garden live off the floor at Suma.
With arrangements that include everything from electric & classical guitar to brass, cellos, mellotron, and Afro-Cuban percussion, The Victory Garden amplifies The Commonwealth's place in the Midwest as a loud, chamber-pop band. It's a cinematic, haunting, and aggressive sound that pulls from The National and Radiohead as much as Led Zeppelin and Cream.
In addition to producing almost 40 original, studio-recorded songs in the past several years, The Commonwealth have opened for internationally-known artists such as KONGOS, GZA of The Wu-Tang Clan, Elle King, Talib Kweli, Blitzen Trapper, The Jezabels, Welshly Arms, and more. The band has also–with the help of multi-instrumentalists Jacob Chandler (bass guitar, brass) and Megan Poletti Kuhar (percussion, keys, backing vocals)–performed at every major venue in Cleveland, including The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, The House of Blues, and the Beachland Ballroom. Prior to the release of their Urban Soul LP (2013), they were featured guests on Dee Perry's NPR program "The Sound of Applause".
While finishing The Victory Garden, The Commonwealth doubled as composers for various film projects. In early 2016, they contributed two original songs ("California Widow", "The Bright Ones") to the short documentary "Razzle Dazzle," which was included in the 41st Cleveland International Film Festival. More recently, their music video for "Versailles" was premiered by The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, and their song "A 3D Printed Gun" was featured alongside Father John Misty's "In Twenty Years Or So" in Out Of The Garden: a short documentary that captures the stories of Syrian refugees resettled in the Midwest.
Special thanks to Mark Kuhar & Brian Rudary for their contributions on bass guitar over the years.
Primarily recorded live at Suma Recording Studio under the guidance of Paul Hamann, lead engineer on The Black Keys' Attack & Release, The Victory Garden stands as The Commonwealth’s definitive recording.
Across this 46 minute LP, The Commonwealth marries their ever-evolving loud chamber pop aesthetic with lyrics that question our ability to trust, relate to and love one another in an era marked by social division and an overabundance of information.
Interview with Nicholas Kuhar & Megan Poletti Kuhar
"Sure, people say being in a band is like being in a romantic relationship, but it's not exactly the same thing. A partner in life and a partner in music offer two different dynamics." Read Full Article