New Noise Magazine is pleased to be bringing forth a deeper look into the recently released record, Everyone Around Me by Commonwealth. The record is out today, January 18th via SharpTone Records.
Founded in 2016, Commonwealth is made up of vocalist Tyler St. Clair, guitarist Brett Chiodo (ex-Movements), drummer Bryce Evenson and bassist Richard Friedrich. The band describes their sound as “honest music for the worn out soul,” that’s conveyed with a subtle, ethereal style of post-rock infused alternative musicianship with melancholic, whimsical lyricism and poignant vocal delivery. Energetic enough to remain catchy and engaging while somber and sobering enough to speak through to the listener’s soul, Commonwealth are a unique band built on a platform of authentic passion, appealing to fans of atmospheric post-hardcore, pop-punk and alt-rock all with one sprawling, all-encompassing dynamic.
I wrote this song about the about ability to move forward regardless of what others think. It was heavily influenced by a close childhood friend of mine. Life moves forward no matter what we are going through so sometimes we need to adapt and move with it and occasionally that means trying something new or taking chances on something we never saw ourselves doing. He had tried college thing multiple times before he gave up. It took a lot out of him to give up because he wanted to succeed so badly. I feel like there is a lot of pressure that surrounds us as we grow out of school and into the “real world” to go to college, or to do whatever your parents want you to do. Sometimes it seems like everyone is against what you actually want to do yourself. He since has since made a career with US military, married the love of his life, and started a family all because of a last resort.
Lost is ultimately about watching a loved one go through a life altering event. Regardless of what it is, it changed them and the life they once knew. My great aunt is currently living in a home to watch over her, but I watch my mom basically take care of her. She has a lot of problems with memory loss and doctors aren’t really sure what’s causing it. It’s hard to watch a loved one go through something that you know you can just do nothing about and ultimately that’s what the song is about.
Many songs on this record have influences from my childhood and this particular one has some influences from the original Jumanji movie when Robin Williams comes out of the game and sees the house and the world of today for the first time in years and how things have changed.
This song is just about Life and growing up. We all carry burdens and sometimes it’s just too much to deal with and as adults and wish we could run away from it all. Growing up in itself is so hard, no matter how well put together your life is presented to you. Sometimes as humans we just beat ourselves up over everything and we all wish we could just run away from our problems but we can’t. The chorus to this song has so much meaning in such a short period of time. “Running away from the sticks and the stones that started to break you” as an ode to the child hood phrase “Stick and stones can break my bones but words will never hurt me”, witch to me was always such bullshit. Words are so powerful. The second half “Feeling the same, like a brick in your soul yet your heart’s still vacant” really just saying that we are weighed down by everything we carry, but some people have nowhere to go “yet your hearts still vacant” referencing the phrase we all know, “Home is where the heart is.” There is a lot going on in this song and I think there is a little something that everyone can relate to.
This song is 100% about my daughter. One of the few upbeat and positive songs on the record. It’s sort of a story about the stresses of going to the hospital and getting the opportunity to hold my daughter for the first time and all the thoughts I had at that time. Watching her grow into such a beautiful and kind hearted little girl. I just want my daughter to grow up and live a happy, and healthy life. It’s overwhelming becoming a parent, and to this of you that are there already I commend you. The chorus was written out of so much anger. I know a few parents that just don’t let their kids have an imagination and it infuriated me to the point of this song. I want my daughter to know that she can be anything she wants to be regardless of what others think. Some parents just have it all figured out for their children, and it’s just not fair to them. They’re becoming their own person to.
Fathers was written about a close friend and his relationship with his father. He didn’t really have much to do with his dad until way later in life. He was never there for him and I think it’s pretty straight forward songs on the record and you can tell exactly what it’s about. I think a lot of people can relate to this song on such a personal level. I’ve had a lot of people reach out with their own interpretations of the song and I absolutely love that a song so straight forward can be looked at in so many ways. I wrote a lot of these songs to focus around something very specific but also leave them open for the listener.
Taxi is a short story I developed into a song. This song was influenced by someone very close to me. Divorce and domestic abuse being the main subject, it dives deep into the feelings both felt by mother and son in a dual narrative perspective of the same situation. Watching your mother be abused both verbally and physically and not being able to do anything about it and the impact that has on your life. The mother ultimately decides to leave this life behind and take you with her. You pack everything you have and leave a place you called home your entire life. The emotions involved in a situation like that are sometimes hard to put into words, but the many conversations I had about it gave me perspective on it. Truthfully, I have no idea what it’s like to go through something like this and that’s why I wrote a song about it. I’ve always been the type of person to listen and reflect on a situation by writing about it. This was one of those situations. I like to be able to put myself in that person’s shoes and try to feel what it’s like. A very empathetic perspective.
This song was written in the point of view of a coworker I had a few years back. She was a single mother raising a child with no help on a minimum wage job. It was hard to watch. One day we had a heart to heart about the situation and it made me extremely emotional. You don’t really realize the things other people are going through until you get to know them better. The father abandoned them and her parents didn’t respect that she had a child before marriage so they wanted nothing to do with her. She was 23 when all these life changes happened at once and was force to live with all these stresses at once. She was a fairly positive person and it was hard for me to relate to the situation. It made me realize how fortunate I was and putting myself into her shoes inspired this song.
This song was one of the very first songs we wrote together as a band. At the time we were still figuring out our style and you can tell when you hear it that it’s the odd ball out. A little bit of screaming in this one as we were experimenting with what we wanted to sound like. Overall, I feel like it was a good vibe for the song. The themes had to do with depression and anxiety and the baggage that comes along with having it hinder your everyday life and the way it makes others around you feel. It was interesting how we made it into a metaphor for a broken record. The way it plays the same thing over and over and we talk about it being broken, the way we feel when depressed. I felt like it was a really cool concept for a song, especially since I had never written anything like it prior.
This song is a true story written about someone close to my family. It’s about a family torn apart from a drug addicted mother. Where I’m from, opioids are a major issue and unfortunately it does a lot of damage here. It’s a story about a mother hiding an addiction from a hard-working father and her 4 children. She eventually loses everything, her husband, her home, and custody of her children. It just amazed me that someone would give up their entire life for something so meaningless. I know there are two sides to this story and sometimes emotions can become so mixed in a situation like this. So now she is left to completely start over. Again, I have no idea what it’s like to go through this. I can only imagine, and that’s what this song is about.
This one was one of the songs we actually finished in a live scenario. I remember it vividly. We were jamming in a random garage in CA just before going to the studio to record it. This song is tough. It was written from the aspect of being haunted by a loved one after their passing. Not necessarily an actual haunting, but just the thought of them being there after death. It’s like you can still feel them. I know this feeling all too well and it became a very personal song to me as it progressed. Brett came to me with an initial concept and once again, I did what I do best, and put myself in his shoes to channel what he was feeling for this one. I lost my best friend at 18 years old to Cystic Fibrosis and I channeled a lot of those feelings of visiting him while sick and after his death for this song. It turned out really dark and personal and I think the lyrics paired well with the gloomy vibe of the song.
I see a lot of myself in this song. A lot of it was written about how I felt when I was truly depressed. I think we all wanted a heavy part in this song. We are all sad kids writing sad music after all. This song from start to finish is how I felt the entire time I was severely depressed. I think it really spells out what it’s like to go through depression. Brett and I collaborated on this one a lot and tried to put both perspectives in this song. I think that if you’ve ever been truly depressed this song will speak out to you. If you’ve never felt it, I hope you never do. It was one of the hardest times in my life and I hope to never go back there.