Mates of State
The Mates of State are a couple of married folks, but even if they hadn't met and tied the knot they would probably still be performing some sort of upbeat indie pop, albeit separately. Lucky thing for us (and them), Kori Gardner and Jason Hammel formed a band (and fell in love) in the midst of the 1990's Lawrence, Kansas music scene. It wasn't long before they packed up their keyboard-and-drums combo and moved to San Francisco. After a few singles and EPs, they released their first studio disc My Solo Project, a joyous back-and-forth high energy shouting/singing affair that established them as not only as an indie rock twosome, but one that obviously has a lot of fun trading harmonies and lyrical wordplay. Two years later, Our Constant Concern, continued that pattern, whilst tossing in a few electronically looped surprises that sweetened the mix. Team Boo was released in 2003, and Mates of State were able to quit their day jobs as teacher (Kori) and cancer researcher (Jason), and began trying to reach a wider audience by near year-round touring -- both headlining on their own and with next-big-thing bands like the Strokes. They signed to a new label, Barsuk Records, and in 2006 released their fourth effort, Bring It Back. Even more life-changing, they also had a baby and relocated to Connecticut to be closer to Kori's East Coast family. However, they vow to not to settle down in the suburbs, taking their daughter on tour with them and (in between naps) carrying on with their sharp, ironic duets like the brainy "Fraud in the '80s."