The Chairman Dances’ “Dorothy Day and Peter Maurin” is — as only a song with that kind of title can be — a quietly fervent chronicle of the lives of the titular Catholic activists. It’s the kind of spirited indie rock lazy music writers describe without fail as “jangly”, shimmering verses dropping into a dusty, stomping chorus reminiscent of the wandering rock of Springsteen and Darnielle. Lyrically, it continues in the tradition of the aforementioned artists as well — it’s less a treatise than a scene, reflective and illustrative above all. It’s the kind of eternal indie rock which will survive as long as the guitar stays in style — and, given how well the song fits into this canon and how good the canon as a whole is, this is a fine thing.
“Three years ago, when I first met my now wife, we exchanged books. I lent her Marilynne Robinson’s Gilead, my wife countered with Dorothy Day’s wonderfully wrought (and equally wonderfully titled) autobiography, The Long Loneliness,” explains lead singer Dan Comly. “What struck me most in those pages was the friendship between Dorothy and Peter Maurin. Dorothy was going through an especially dark time when the two met. Peter arrived out of thin air, said he wanted to start a newspaper. That meeting changed both their lives, and the success and influence that followed was no less miraculous.”
Time Without Measure is out August 26 via Black Rd Records. Preorder it here.
Sci-Fi Author Ursula LeGuin's Stories of Class War, Religious Dissension, Identity Politics and More