Hey! It's almost summer! Good thing we have a new Mates of State album to serve as soundtrack, a covers set at that.
"Crushes (The Covers Mixtape) " is a 10-song set that the duo -- Jason Hammel and Kori Gardner -- produced themselves, with some help from The National producer Peter Katis. A diverse set of acts like Tom Watis, Belle & Sebastian, The Mars Volta, Fleetwood Mac and Nick Cave are having their songs included; Death Cab For Cutie also gets the covers treatment -- Ben Gibbard, after all, helped sing some on the Mates' last "Bring It Back" in 2008.
Below is a tracklist, and below that, a stream of the Mates of State performing indie buzz band Girls' "Laura." It's sunny, as could be predicted, but does have the crew breaking out of their normal structures of just drums, keyboards and vocal harmonies. Check out the turntable scratches and the drum machine, the omnipresent, buzzing bass and a dreamier delivery from Gardner. Download the track via their website matesofstate.com.
They promise that psycho-psych of The Mars Volta track "Son et Lumiere" is going "breezy" and Waits' "Long Way Home" came out as "an adrenalized anthem."
"We hadn't counted on this covers project making us approach our own songs in these new ways. Too often in the past, we'd get stuck writing in a certain structure. In dissecting these songs, taking out the biggest creative component--actually writing the song--we were more thoughtful of other musical aspects... In a sense, these other great bands made us a better band," the couple says in a statement.
No tour dates yet, though they pulled off a handful back in February.
1. Laura (Girls)
2. Son et Lumiere (The Mars Volta)
3. Sleep the Clock Around (Belle & Sebastian)
4. Technicolor Girls (Death Cab for Cutie)
5. Long Way Home (Tom Waits)
6. Love Letter (Nick Cave)
7. Second Hand News (Fleetwood Mac)
8. 17 Pink Sugar Elephants (Vashti Bunyan)
9. Roller Coaster Ride (Dear Nora)
10. True Love Will Find You in the End (Daniel Johnston)