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The Victory Garden

by The Commonwealth

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DJ Ng thumbnail
DJ Ng I am in love with The Commonwealth’s godly music! Soulful because of the beautiful orchestral coloring, bluesy emotional vocals, tearful piano and horns, and cinematic percussion. When I was at The Commonwealth’s album release show, I was just emotionally touched by the love this band has for their music and audience. Everything is so real and passionate. Makes me soul search about my relationships with my friends and family.
Favorite track: Providence.
probabynick thumbnail
probabynick Technically impressive, lyrically genius, and emotionally driven, The Commonwealth doesn't fail to impress with their newest album.
The Victory Garden is a beautiful journey one can't help but take over and over. Favorite track: Versailles.
Timothy Kilkenny
Timothy Kilkenny thumbnail
Timothy Kilkenny Such a good album, but what do you expect from a band from Cleveland? The Commonwealth have this great unique sound that you know is theirs when you turn on an album. Favorite track: Hyacinth Girl.
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“You are here.” But I fear I’m just as lost. If you get my sense of humor, why’d you call? Looting fries off my friend’s soon-to-be ex, Well you seem right for a club that could use a good laugh. We could stay awhile, kneel to neon love. Working out who’s better [at] going first, Your resin eye slid down a giant lens, wondering, “Tell me the one about your silver screen.” But I’d like to know how much you hate your favorite show, And what you’ve become in the past few years. Hang on, while I wait in line at the dive, buying time, Loitering with the face of a Double Presley, mid-draw. Do you ever wonder what they’d say of us? And what were we to tell our worried moms? Brillobox belongs to you & I, Where acid-trip art films are flashing by. As my leg fell asleep, in a buzzing room Of friends, all incomplete, guaranteed fools All Lemon Drop’d; forgot your birthday song. As they sing to you, I wish for paint on our walls. Three years in, should I be pacing less? For all the nights spilled out into shallow ends, Wringing out our friends for their side of it, Won’t someone tell me the one about the two of us again? But I’d like to know if you feel the same, Or if I was a part of the wish I thought you made, While I wait now in line, at the pace of the register, Waving my dwindling empire At the dude who thought we’re mad, Wishing us, “Good night,” Again.
Morning Star 03:22
I’m the man-bird who is flying low, Looking on more than half the time – I’m thinking that it would start to show On the wings of another life. Now, why would you ask of me What you can live without? Four years I’m out of reach, And life was only heard about. When I’m down is when I wonder why, Once ahead, I don’t seem to know How to speak for my former life – Like a dream that I should have wrote down. Why would you ask of me What you can’t live without? For years and out of reach Life was only heard about through phones. Who am I to say What I can live without? It’s all buried underneath Piles of stupid luck.
Holly was adored, all crowned in fleur; she cracked my head. As she leaves, to my relief she asks, “[when] could I come back?” Through a single-pane, you’ve probably said enough by now For the neighbors to wonder just who you care about. And, you know, they’re not going anywhere. No, I know, it’s not going anywhere. Holly was adorned but found all sorts of bitter men. Dreaming light and petit fours – it’s not where I’m at. It’s like I’ve left my head at home for someone else to bake, Pour in wine, and who knows what other sweetness waits? But I know it’s not going anywhere, Oh, I know it’s not going anywhere. “Holy Wars Indoors,” the news reports, and so depends. “Wait, I need you more,” is my first thought, anyhow – Do I have another home, while mine is roared awake By motorcyclists, by now – I’d hope – miles away? And I know it’s not going everywhere, Oh, I know they’re not going anywhere.
Versailles 05:45
Alex, I know, we said we’d leave America, Beeline for all we see of us in art nouveau, North of Chamonix, where I’m still cheap And you were feeling low. Four Calvados should ruin us, Enough to ask, “What if I let go?” The west, you know, is filled with gold, But I won’t find you there -– [it’s just] a feeling that I have, Based on mid-class talk through old Midwest exhausts. In Dead Lou’s Hall of Mirrors We might have lived forever. Alex, I’m bored, and busy writhing on the floor – It’s no wonder why nobody lasts long in Versailles. Things have probably changed, I know I am not the same. Maybe–probably–it wouldn’t kill either of us To leave, and tally who’s lost. It’s too bad We have a lot to lose: Siblings all but dead Good jobs, Endless debt, Lists of what I want, With stars near my least favorite ones – Man, I swear, you’re drunk, you’re drunk, you’re drunk… You were so bizarre, pretending that I’m far, And I was like you then, just fearless of death. You get so bizarre, when I’m a little lost.
Providence 04:42
Chin up, dear, We left us right by Providence – At least tell me why you felt mad, Dragged below some lonely isle. [We’re] all due back ashore. It’s too bad, I know. Oh my god, I’ve had enough. Pull me in, At least make it up. What am I to do with this? I want to know what’s getting to you, And no one else I know. It’s you I can’t leave alone, [But] to some men you breathe water now. Maybe I’ll spend a fortune Making-believe what I saw. But who can be in two places? I can’t believe I’d forget: [That] maybe we’ll heal before long – But I cannot wait anymore. Am I not yours?
Sleepwalkers 04:07
Don’t you know how this ends? [With] two children in a labyrinth. Beaujolais for the long night, But I know it’s only making me useless, Oh, you want to reach for my hand – But I was there, oh I wasn’t there. Won’t it make any sense? I know I’m half of a half-dreamed ruin. Feel the anvil on my heart – Don’t you tell me I’m weightless, a western wind. Would you find it easier If my name came first in your nonsense curse? [Well] Hallelujah for you – Don’t you know yet what you’re not to hang on to? Am I in your nightmares, the ones where you can’t move As I float down the stairs? Oh don’t go remind me now – I use to laugh about the past. Oh don’t go remind me now – I weighed it for way too long Oh don’t go remind me now – I use to laugh about the past.
Way before I knew what it’d mean for you, The minotaur & the girl [Were] both hiding from the world From Mammoth to Chauvet, It’s kind of hard to say Just who fucked up the walls – I think they just wanted to talk. So when I’m freezing up, Am I not saying enough? Don’t go out today. I’m dancing for the rain And trying to keep an open mind. Honey, why are you crying? We’re barely out of time. Which red wine hit the floor? Which grape is our meteor? I still don’t hate my boss, But on April 1st, he laid me off, Scatterbrained & tall. I later heard his family fell apart. Maybe he just wanted to talk? So, who are we fooling now? Another cave for going ‘round & ‘round. Sooner or later, high They’ll hang an exit sign Somewhere outside our chalk outlines.
Bloomed 05:08
My oh my oh time, What did you do with me? Let me fall and land and crawl, and for all week. Stretch me thin, I’m with the wind and blooming through – Keep me close, the air is cold – I can’t see you. Oh, what did I do? I should have been Someone else by now. My oh my oh time, What can I do to leave? Take me home, Where nothing grows that will not speak. “I was here,” Says souvenirs we’ll never use. Keep me close, And I’ll say we’re as-good-as-new. What can I bring to you? I’ve been gone awhile, While the leaves all take off. I’ve been gone awhile.
Love, won’t you dance when I’m gone? This breaking-out-the-black is bad enough In mid-July You’ll find me in the air. I guess I’m use to being tossed around – Little luchador, the big-brothers’ rag doll – And not hard to find, In a casket barely still Way up on shoulders’ hill. Do we still have a chance to save the best for last? Like that boutonniere I’ve tried to petrify, Since my brother took his vows. Love, help me look alive There’s nothing we can’t do, When I count, alone, on you. Spare yourself the old-fashioned lines, “A son, survived by none. He worked full-time.” I don’t know why we didn’t think To spend more on the brass section… Do we still get our chance to save the best for last? The last I heard our song was in a cover band, Played to death, to no one. Boys, play it four more times To the beat of her heart, And from the very start… ...Do we end up alone? Even if I knew, I’d only look for you – Even with a million eyes How am I to find you, baby, every time? When I wrestle to float, What am I to do But count, alone, on you? Now I can only hope You would sing my part If I’m the first to go – Just don’t let it be a psalm “When the Saints Go Marching In?” Can’t they pick another one? Don’t you want to feel alive Down in New Orleans, While the band warms up “Take Five?” Now, my love, You’re getting up.
How did I get here? I think I was spacing out – Does that sound worse than it is? It’s what I think I’ve wanted for years. I’d rather feel younger now Than richer when I’m dead. And all the strangers I’ll love, Oh, how sincere I’ll sound Until they creep me the fuck out. How I wish that I could trust more than three people. Maybe then I would loosen up, And stop trying to invent A brand new disguise For the phantom I am Or a 3D printed gun, For whatever waits out West, Or a screen to hold my hand, For a world without true friends, For the maze it’s kept me in. I see accomplishments of men that, really, were a woman’s – And clear-my-schedule love that everyone’s above, Unless it’s built to last, And good enough to share. On a yearly contract now – Shit, I really couldn’t care When we’re all the worse for wear I’d still want you, anyway. Well, the future is so weird, But apparently so is everyone here.


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.


released April 22, 2017

Composed, Performed & Produced by The Commonwealth

The Commonwealth is:
Patrick Burke, Andrew Kuhar & Nicholas Kuhar

Live Musicians:
Jacob Chandler & Megan Poletti Kuhar

With the assistance of:
Max Brady, Megan Cox & Brian Rudary

(See individual songs for specific liner notes)

Brass Arrangements by:
Patrick Burke

String Arrangements by:
Megan Cox & The Commonwealth

Lyrics by:
Andrew Kuhar & Nicholas Kuhar

Recorded at:
Suma Recording Studio (August 2015 & April 2016)
Tri-C Tommy LiPuma Center for Creative Arts (November 2015)
Baldwin Wallace University Conservatory of Music (December 2016)
The Painted Lady Sound Studios (December 2016)
Our homes, in & around Cleveland, OH (May - December 2016)

Recorded by:
Paul Hamann
Dave Piatek & The Commonwealth
With the assistance of Megan Poletti Kuhar

Mixed by:
Dave Piatek

Mastered by:
Dan Coutant at Sun Room Audio

Visual Design by:
Hilary Bovay, Andrew Kuhar & Nicholas Kuhar
Art Direction by The Commonwealth

Inspired by the work of John Stezaker

Sourced artwork & photography courtesy of:
The Michael Schwartz Library at Cleveland State University, The New York Public Library, and The Metropolitan Museum of Art


all rights reserved



The Commonwealth Cleveland, Ohio

We are The Commonwealth (™), a group of young men and women with a Protestant work ethic and a winning smile. We are also grass-fed and cage-free.

(Photograph by Hilary Bovay)

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