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original site launched April 1, 2004, .com relaunched October 1, 2004

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editor's note
Mates of State
Bring It Back
by Katie Sauro

Already armed with a proclivity for echoing organ-pop and catchy hooks, this Barsuk debut from the husband-wife team of Kori Gardner and Jason Hammel, balances the bouncy rhythms so prominent on other albums with tender heart-rending ballads. The duo delves into two completely opposite worlds, one of delightfully sunny pop, and one of doleful soul bearing, the two fusing together with bitterly honest lyrics and captivating harmonization to craft the sound that is Mates of State.

Husband-wife duos have become the latest in a string of rock band gimmickry, with dozens of darling married couples, like The Rosebuds and Viva Voce, filling our ears with dreamy indie-pop. But Mates of State have been around the block a time or two, proving themselves more than just another cutesy band, and on Bring It Back, their fourth and latest full-length to date, they take us on a blissful jaunt through fields of pop extravagance (“Fraud in the 80s,” “Beautiful Dreamer”) and simplistic balladry (“Nature and the Wreck,” the quiet Brit-pop-sounding number, “What It Means”). 

Mates of State make their way to Seattle on April 20 at Neumos. In the meantime, check out and for more.