Communist Daughter | 12.13.12

prev communist-daughterI may have to restrain myself from rushing the stage and hugging them for making such good music.


Do you ever just want to find a rooftop, climb up onto it, skip around, and shout out to the stars and anyone within earshot, “I FREAKING LOVE THIS BAND; LOVE THEM ALONG WITH ME!”? I do. I literally want to go up to strangers on the street and say, “Hey, by the by, you should really be at Cicero’s on Thursday night because Communist Daughter is going to be there and it’s going to be awesome and maybe the world really will end on the 21st and you would have died never knowing this band and I just can’t live with that.” However, strangers on the street can be mean and judge-y. Luckily, I have this platform, and if you look at me like I’m crazy for gushing about a band like a five-year-old with a bag of candy, well, I can’t see you and my feelings don’t get hurt.

I cannot get enough of them, really. All the other bands in my Spotify account are jealous of Communist Daughter and feel completely neglected. I may have to restrain myself from rushing the stage and hugging them for making such good music. You think I’m being dramatic and kidding? I am so not kidding.

I can’t recall how I first stumbled on their music. They aren’t exactly under the radar but they aren’t well known, either, at least not outside of the upper Midwest. I imagine a few fans have found them just because their name is taken from the song of the same name by Neutral Milk Hotel. I imagine that recent touring with Jason Isbell is going to help out, as well. I don’t remember how I came to be introduced to them, but luckily I did find out about their 2010 LP Soundtrack to the End. Tracks like “The Lady Is an Arsonist” and “Tumbleweed” just burrowed into my heart and made a snug little home there.

I had no idea they’d released an EP this year until a couple of weeks ago when Darren Snow of KDHX announced they’d be performing in December. On the new EP, Lions & Lambs, they’ve grown even stronger in their storytelling, veering a little more to the literal end of the spectrum and keeping the dreamy harmonies while adding horns, whistles, a touch more distortion, and a simmering intensity that makes you feel as though you are being pulled into the band’s circle. You huddle in to listen closer because they’ve got a little wisdom to share, some life truth to let you in on.

“Ghosts,” while beautiful, is disturbing. If anyone needs to score a scene where people are running from something, might I recommend this track? In the video for the song, the band has depicted themselves bloodied, walking around disoriented after a crash. It also very much puts me in mind of another beloved band, Milo Greene.

The rest of the EP, while by no means depressing and actually somewhat sonically upbeat, also leans toward the pensive, bittersweet, and introspective. This is especially true of “Speed of Sound” from their first album, but I think fits much better among these new songs. It has a catchy refrain and contains my favorite lines: “The life I wanted years ago is maybe not the life I should have found/ I still live for sound but lately all the people seem to talk too loud/ And my feet are on the ground but all the words I say are coming out like clouds.”

“Heart Attack” means business. For me, it’s the strongest composition on the new LP with pounded piano keys, really upfront lyrics delivered in the especially magnetic way that John Solomon and Molly Moore and the rest of the band’s voices meld, and whistling that is fairly sinister and “come hither” all at once.

Dear readers, I really am looking out for your best interests here. Take some time this week to listen to some Communist Daughter, and when you fall deep, like I did, make sure you get your sweet self to Cicero’s. The date was only added a short time ago, so spread the word across the land so more people know. My wish would be for that room to be just crazy-silly-jam-packed and for the band to really feel the love from St. Louis. If nothing else I’ve said convinces you, I leave you with my highest compliment for a band, the accolade that only gets doled out on a rare occasion: I could not love this band more if they were made of chocolates and orgasms. That is all. | Janet Rhoads

Communist Daughter plays Cicero’s in St. Louis on Thursday, December 13, with headliners The Madison Letter and fellow support acts Bowtie Trio and Bluefish. Doors are at 7, tickets are $7, and the show is all ages.

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