We've seen Mates of State imagine adventurous worlds before
. This time, they leave the exploring to a teenage girl, dumped at the dance. However, her frustration quickly reveals an unexpected portal to a green and wondrous place, and a new companion to boot. The result is a show and tell, with the band mopping up the mess and providing "Sway", from their latest album Mountaintops
, as the energetic soundtrack.
Though conceived as a duo, Kori Gardner and Jason Hammel the he and she music factory known as Mates of State have never failed to generate a trademark wall of sound built on dozens of varied voicings of keys, drums, and alternately lushly layered and playfully dueling vocals. On their newest album, re-arrange us, they move beyond these boundaries (their traditional organ sound is a distant memory, replaced with organic piano and synth sounds) with additional instrumentation, not to mention a quantum leap in song craft apparent on instantly indelible gems like now, jigsaw and get better. Throughout the new album, Kori's piano and the emergence of both Mates' lead vocals from their trademark harmonizing signal the next stage of Mates of State's evolution.
Re-arrange us follows bring it back, written and recorded around a schedule mandated by the birth of Gardner and Hammel's first child and hailed upon its spring 2006 release as "truly unique, wonderfully complex pop" (Nylon), "a top-shelf treat" (Entertainment Weekly), an Essential by GQ and a Best of the Month in Elle. Mates of State's pre-bring it back discography include the albums my solo project, our constant concern, and team boo, as well as numerous singles and EPs, most notably 2005's all day EP.