Kori Gardner and Jason Hammel formed Mates of State formed in 1997 in Kansas. They then moved to California, and were signed by Polyvinyl Records. In 2001, they decided to tie the knot and get married. This is their third full-length album and was released in September 2003.
It was easy for me to say that they are Indie-pop, but it is hard to describe their actual sound. The only instruments these 2-piece use are an organ, keyboard, and drums. Despite the lack of members and instruments, they create full, sometimes complex, songs that you would imagine a 4+ band playing. Their bright vocals are often overlapping or alternating their innocent and whimsical lyrics, that often show off Kori's wonderful voice and Jason's harmonies. The music that comes from all this is very whimsical, uplifting, and quirky, as well as delicate, innocent, and beautiful. Their voices mesh very well together, having great tone to them and add another layer of innocence and quirkyness to their unique pop-sensible music.
I really wanted to overview all of the songs on this album, but as i was writing them, I seemed to be writng the same things, even if the songs were completely different. They all have unique layers of bouncy and fun keyboard, catchy and wonderful vocals that usually overlap, nice harmonies, and simple but very fitting drum beats that seem to fit into the perfect tangle of music. Their music often switches gears going from a more softer, delicate piece to a spastic poppy one, and then to a fun quirky stage, that somehow all fits together perfectly.
The album in itself flows together nicely, but I think the flowiness could be mistaken for repetitiveness. Some of the songs seem to drag on, alothugh you wouldnt necessarily want to change the song, you are just waiting for it to be over. All in all, it is an enjoyable album.
For fans of: Architecture in Helsinki, the Polyphonic Spree, Tilly and the Wall, Rilo Kiley, The Flaming Lips, The Shins.
Sound It Off
Middle is Gold