The Inside Track: Claire Tucker - 'Commune'

Words by Claire Tucker

This probably isn’t a great look, but I’ll just admit here that I struggle with gratitude. By most measures I have much to be thankful for, but saying that can feel like concession to a certain toxically positive line we are fed. We must keep powering through, take our lot, and accept our conditions. We may protest or express our grievances through art or in conversation with friends and family, but we are often told to stop complaining, count our blessings, and smile. Anything else is just in poor taste. Meanwhile in the United States there is no paid parental leave, no guarantee that we will be able to afford life-saving medical treatment, and a vast network of structural inequities. There is not much community or compassion built into our mainstream culture. 

I remember as a teenager fantasizing about living in some kind of off-the-grid farm collective, where everyone divided the labor and treated each other equally. Everyone’s clothing and furniture would be handmade, people would cook family meals with locally-sourced ingredients, and nothing would be wasted. Love and kinship would somehow be made structural elements of the social system. So nobody would have to be told to look on the bright side of their meaningless jobs, or pretend they aren’t struggling under the weight of staying self-sufficient. 

The past couple of years brought some of those old hazy utopian dreams to the surface for me, probably as a response to the chaos of the pandemic. The farm collective holds less allure than it once did (and even feels a bit toxic in its own way). Maybe that’s because I have a more defined community now than I did as a teenager, and I take pleasure and solace in that. But I still feel driven to make things that I can perform as myself, or curated facets of my internet-based self, that I might garner a little praise for my ability to mine my own feelings and experiences and set them to melody. 

I think maybe that’s what this song is about.

My new album Interior Monolith will be released November 12, 2021 on Drums & Wires Recordings. I wrote and recorded it at home in 2020 with contributions from Bill Patton and Jack Peters (also members of my band Loose Wing). It was co-produced and mixed by Cameron Elliott and mastered by Ed Brooks. 

Pre-order your copy of the transcendently translucent purple vinyl today, or grab a copy in person at the record release show at Bar House on November 11 (with Floored Faces and Kinski). 

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