Updated: Feb 17, 2022
'Love? Said the Commander' is a quote from The Handmaid's Tale, and a band! A band from the 'Philajersey' area, which the duo affectionately calls the marriage of Philadelphia and New Jersey. From meeting on a Craigslist ad in 2018 to crafting four EPs together, Kate Hall (vocals, guitar, violin) and Chris Bishop (guitar, bass) seem unstoppable. Hall and Bishop create a DIY indie-rock collective, recording and writing independently, with their latest release, Bones, is their most intimate record yet.
Bones is unique in that it was recorded in one day, with one microphone on a Sunday in December at the Wayne County Courthouse in Bishop's hometown of Honesdale, PA. The pair explained, "The idea was simple - record the songs live in an interesting space and do as little editing as possible to the finished tracks. The result (hopefully) allows listeners to feel like they were in the room the day of the recording." And this mindset is just as indie and DIY as it gets, and that's just what we love.
This four-track EP starts with the title track, "Bones." This track includes raw vocals, an emotional violin solo, and poignant lyrics. Hall sings, "Would it be okay if we talked about it later/I've had a long day, I can't see what's on my mind/…Maybe we just talk about the weather." A relatable moment, explaining how conversations may be too heavy to bring up and discuss, and you may need more time. So it becomes easier to make small talk about mundane life or non-trivial conversations. The following track, "Autopilot," is a captivating 5:10 instrumental track with catchy melodies that will have you humming along on the first listen. "Tea Cheers" sounds reminiscent of Pebaluna, with Bishop's riff and Hall's impeccable vocal tonality. In contrast, the track's second half brings a heavier, louder sound with clear emotion and intensity perfected with a wailing violin. The last track, titled "Sylvia," is the perfect combination of clean vocals and an acoustic guitar while also giving the listener a window into the protagonist's story, singing, "Out of sight, Out of mind/ Hit the gas, We're goin' for a ride/ And my arms, 'round your waist/Don't look back, the past is far away/ And the air fills my lungs through the trees, making me go numb."
LONG STORY SHORT: Love? said the Commander, is the epitome of DIY indie, writing, recording, and mixing all on their own. With just one stereo condenser microphone in the middle of the courtroom, one Fender Super Champ amp for a violin, minimal takes, and no guitar pedals, Love? said the Commander, was able to make you feel like you were in the courtroom, too.