Song of the Day: Mates of State - My Only Offer


photo by Crackerfarm

Every Monday through Friday, we deliver a different song as part our Song of the Day podcast subscription. This podcast features exclusive KEXP in-studio performances, unreleased songs, and recordings from independent artists that our DJs think you should hear. Today’s featured selection, chosen in anticipation of Memorial Day Weekend’s Sasquatch! Music Festival, is “My Only Offer” by Mates of State on their forthcoming album Re-Arrange Us out May 20th on Barsuk.

Mates of State - My Only Offer (MP3)

Spouses Kori Gardner and Jason Hammel have been making quirky, joyous music together as Mates of State for over ten years. Based earlier in San Francisco and now out of New York, the duo split instrumentation between melody (Gardner on electric organ) and rhythm (Hammel behind the kit), and share vocals with their unique harmonies. Re-Arrange Us, their fifth full-length, isn’t in Radiohead/NIN-style a request for fans to mix up their songs (though the band has in the past asked fans to contribute videos), nor does it represent a complete restructuring of their trademark dynamic -- but what it does reveal is a growing complexity in what could have easily been a one-trick-pony band. Listen for more varied instrumentation on this album, like piano and synth and... wait, is that a guitar?... and for Gardner and Hammel to take more traditional lead vocal roles.

Mates of State toured this summer with NPR’s This American Life Tour this summer with Kori on a baby grand and Jason playing with brushes. They were also accompanied by a cello and back-up vocalists at a few gigs so it’ll be interesting to see what arrangements they use at the Gorge on May 25th. For more tour dates including appearances at Lollapalooza and Austin City Limits, visit the band’s MySpace page or website.

Check out this new video for “Get Better,” also off their new album Re-Arrange Us:

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