The Commonwealth
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The Commonwealth

Cleveland, Ohio, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2009 | INDIE

Cleveland, Ohio, United States | INDIE
Established on Jan, 2009
Band Rock Alternative


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The Commonwealth @ Beachland Ballroom & Tavern

Cleveland, Ohio, USA

Cleveland, Ohio, USA

The Commonwealth @ Beachland Ballroom & Tavern

Cleveland, Ohio, USA

Cleveland, Ohio, USA

The Commonwealth @ Brite Winter Festival

Cleveland, OH

Cleveland, OH

This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



The Commonwealth - "Urban Soul"
"Urban Soul" is a soulful builder that talks softly but wields a powerful punch, thanks to the fantastic vocal abilities of singer/guitarist Andrew Kuhar. It's easy to draw comparisons between The Commonwealth and Arcade Fire, but "Urban Soul" also shows a bluesy side to the Cleveland band that's reminiscent of The Black Keys. - / The Plain Dealer

Interview starts about 25 minutes in: - NPR

On last year's Emerald City Blues, the Commonwealth started to experiment in the studio to push the limits of its elegant arrangements and beautiful melodies. With Urban Soul, an album the band has said is thematically about "being in your mid- to late-twenties and trying to start a life," the group experiments even further. A mellow piano-based tune, "The Bright Ones" features hushed vocals, and the title track has a woozy garage blues feel that recalls the Black Keys collaborations with uber-producer Danger Mouse. Using groups such as Bon Iver, the National and Arcade Fire as reference points, the band comes into its own here. - Jeff Neisel - Cleveland Scene Magazine

Meet the Band: Patrick Burke (guitar), Andrew Kuhar (vocals, guitars), Nicholas Kuhar (drums)

Straight Outta St. Ignatius: Band members originally met at St. Ignatius, where, as Nicholas Kuhar says, they "fiddled around with some orchestral rock." "From an early stage, we played around with us being a miniature orchestra more than a rock band," he says. After they all went their separate ways for college, they kept in touch and kept playing together. By 2011, they released their debut EP, Souvenir, which they recorded at their home studio located in Collinwood.

Technical Issues: For last year's Emerald City Blues, the band again recorded at its home studio. But it struggled with the technology. "It was a really fun album to make but we were testing the limits as to what we could do in getting the most we could out of the equipment," says Kuhar. "It was fun but got frustrating because there were technical things we'd run into. How do we mix this so it doesn't sound muddy?" Despite Kuhar's criticism, the album features elegant arrangements and beautiful melodies.

Talking About Their Generation: Kuhar says that much of the band's new album, Urban Soul, is about "being in your mid- to late-twenties and trying to start a life." "I have been talking to my parents a lot about how people in my generation have gone to school longer so there's a sense of being uprooted and that's translated into that fact that things like getting married and buying a house or buying a car have been held off," he says. "It's made everyone more rootless and the lyrics are about that."

Why You Should Hear Them: The songs on Urban Soul are intricately arranged compositions. A mellow piano-based tune, "The Bright Ones" features hushed vocals, and the title track has a woozy garage blues feel. "We wanted to push ourselves," says Kuhar. "We see acts like Bon Iver or the National or Arcade Fire, and we want to aspire to having that kind of live show. For the album, we wanted to take it as far as we could in terms of composition. For Emerald City Blues, we just wanted to write songs we could pull off live. We didn't do that this time around."
- Cleveland Scene Magazine


Still working on that hot first release.



Founded in 2009 by Patrick Burke, Andrew Kuhar, and Nicholas Kuhar, The Commonwealth has since written, recorded, and produced three albums out of Nottingham Studio, their creative headquarters in Cleveland, Ohio, where they work and reside with Chewbacca, the largest cat within the city limits.

Their debut EP, 2011s Souvenir, was hailed as an intoxicating mix of new-age guitars, clashing cymbals, and soaring vocals (Cleveland Scene) and an album that warrants repeat visits and an eagerness to experience what the next trip will bring (OhioAuthority). These accolades led promoters around the city to invite them to play at legendary venues such as The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and open for international acts such as The Sam Roberts Band at The Grog Shop.

Intent on capitalizing on the momentum Souvenir spurred, The Commonwealth immediately began working on a full-length follow-up, which manifested in the Summer of 2012 as Emerald City Blues. This LP not only captured the attention of local critics and music lovers (Jeff Niesel of Cleveland Scene praised it as Meticulously executed and delivered with great attention to detail, all 11 songs [on Emerald City Blues] have a strong cinematic quality that distinguishes [The Commonwealth] from standard fare indie rock), but also led them to opening spots for Australian-favorites The Jezabels at the Beachland Ballroom, a spot on the main stage for 2013s Cellar Door Rendezvous, a headlining role for the 2013 The Waterloo Arts Fest, and a nomination for the coveted Cleveland Arts Prize*.

In early 2013, The Commonwealth had the good fortune to forge a partnership with the Markerts of Cellar Door Records amidst the making of another full-length albumUrban Soulwhich would be the first released through the label. Recorded almost entirely live in their home studio, Urban Soul is the darkest, lushest, most dynamic and succinct statement the band has made to date. The musical additions of trumpet fanfares, slide guitar, house percussion, and upright piano are matched by new lyrical concernsmost notably, what it feels like to live in a city whose rebirth seems imminent but is not yet guaranteed, attempting to be frank about adult relationships and the challenges they entail, and trying to keep in touch with childhood friends who are now anywhere from a state to an ocean away.

2013 promises to be a watershed year for the band, as performances at Mahalls Lakewood Music Fest (feat. Talib Kweli), the citys beloved Ingenuity Fest, and the release party for the Urban Soul LP at Happy Dog on July 26th await.

Band Members