Almost a decade since their last UK appearance, Connecticut-based, indie/synth/pop duo Kori Gardner (vocals, organ, piano and guitar) and Jason Hammel (vocals, drums, percussion and synth) finally announce their first release in four years. Their long awaited EP ‘You’re Going To Make It’ consists of five tracks of pure emotion, pouring out through powerful vocal harmonies and swelling synth pop melodies.
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You know that scene in the Simpsons where the family see a bunch of exponentially more cute lambs in quick succession and Homer knocks the third most cute one out of the way? I believe this low-quality video will explain it all but basically that is how I sort of feel about Mates of State, insofar as they are sadly passed over in favour of ever-so-slightly more twee bands and so we all forget they exist. They are fine, though, as their first EP in a decade proves: ‘You’re Gonna Make It’ is a sweet, sugary ball of joy and melodrama.
This is a lush and synthy affair, all things considered: “Beautiful Kids” is an electro-pop symphony that coalesces the husband-wife duo’s harmonies around strikingly emotive melodies that, even at their sparsest, are accompanied by the sounds of cashiers opening rhythmically and birds chirping happily. “I Want To Run” sounds like the Go! Team recorded a jingle for a children’s arts and crafts show, bolstered by a chorus that sounds like a mantra about playing fair with Journey-esque piano. “Gonna Get It” is the saddest Mates of State have ever been and it contains a whole lot of xylophone.
I’d basically rather be listening to the Fiery Furnaces most days, but Mates of State certainly helped cultivate an era where twee pop could be your indie genre of choice; on ‘You’re Gonna Make It’, it sounds like they still believe in that time but want to produce something full-bodied and boisterous. Think Rogue Wave switching from ‘Asleep At Heaven’s Gate’ to ‘Permalight’, but with enjoyable songs. Good work, y’all. Also I don't condone the pushing away of lambs or bands in any way.
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- You’re Going To Make It by Mates Of State
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