Love? Said the Commander | still from video
The Key Studio Sessions: Love? Said The Commander
Connecting online in 2018 has yielded a stirring creative collaboration for Kate Hall and Chris Bishop. Under the evocative name Love? Said The Commander — a quote from Margaret Atwood’s dystopian-but-all-too-real novel The Handmaid’s Tale — the two multi-instrumentalists make minimal, introspective, and contemplative music, anchored by Hall’s powerful and emotive voice. Think of them as a middle ground between The Civil Wars and Cocteau Twins, a bit of sturdy folk tradition and a bit of 4AD dreaminess.
This week, the duo released their fourth EP, Bones, a collection of haunting songs recorded live at Wayne County Courthouse in Honesdale, PA. They played the title track live for us in this week’s Key Studio Session, along with a couple as-yet unreleased songs and a cover.
When the COVID-19 pandemic took in-person gigs away, Love? Said The Commander turned to the internet, like so many of their peers, and built a modest following for their From The Basement Bar livestream series. This year, their project is a monthly covers series — which we get a taste of in this set, as Hall and Bishop put a L?STC spin on “Moonage Daydream” as David Bowie’s birthday month draws to a close, then launch into their stunning unreleased song “Break In The Clouds.”
The aching title track to Bones finds Hall embarking on a intrepid solo with her trademark blue violin, while another new one called “To Be Young” mixes anxious ukulele, explosive electric guitar, and wistful nostalgia.
Watch the performances below, and catch Love? Said The Commander at one of their upcoming gigs: a livestream via the folks at Harvey’s House on February 25th, and a stacked Grape Room show on on April 22nd with Dante Robinson and The It’s Lit Family Band, Junonia, and Sacred Monsters. Grab a download of Bones on Bandcamp, for more goings-on, follow their Instagram at @lovesaidthecommander.