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Künstler: Mates of State
Label: Polyvinyl


Bursting with euphoric energy, My Solo Project is a tremendous debut full-length from San Francisco's Mates of State. With organ, drums, and belted-out boy-girl harmonies, the Mates of State crank out a giant, joyous pop sound that needs no overdubbing or ornamentation to convey its exuberance. The keys-fronted lineup begs comparison to bands like Ben Folds Five and Quasi, but the Mates of State have built a freshness all their own, rejuvenating indie pop with unbelievable vigor. Vocalist/organist Kori Gardner has a honey-sweet voice that shifts easily from languorous to explosive within single songs, deftly intertwining with drummer/vocalist Jason Hammel's punctuated yell-singing. The band's bouncy live sound excels on songs "La'hov" and "Everyone Needs an Editor," while songs like "Nice Things That Look Good" and "Ride Again" prove a solid ability to slow down and noodle. The momentum of My Solo Project is further sustained by the varied tempos and rhythms -- just a little loose around the edges -- that build from one to the next in a way that rigid rock beats so often miss. The simple, repetitive lyrics take on a poetic, jazzy quality, as one singer maintains the chorus line while the other solos with words -- reminiscent of fellow West Coast indie rock duo the Halo Benders. With this all-round impressive debut of passionate, accessible pop/rock, the Mates of State breath fresh excitement into the indie scene in a big way. ~ Michelle Cross