Mates Of State: The Sound Of Infectious Joy

Palomino

4 min 55 sec
 
In "Palomino," Mates of State's Kori Gardner and Jason Hammel approach long-gone love with characteristic generosity of spirit. i i

In "Palomino," Mates of State's Kori Gardner and Jason Hammel approach long-gone love with characteristic generosity of spirit. Courtesy of the artist hide caption

itoggle caption Courtesy of the artist
In "Palomino," Mates of State's Kori Gardner and Jason Hammel approach long-gone love with characteristic generosity of spirit.

In "Palomino," Mates of State's Kori Gardner and Jason Hammel approach long-gone love with characteristic generosity of spirit.

Courtesy of the artist

Tuesday's Pick

Song: "Palomino"

Artist: Mates Of State

CD: Mountaintops

Genre: Pop

Kori Gardner and Jason Hammel speak a shared language in Mates of State, the effervescent pop band they share as a married couple with children. Alternately sung and chanted, often in unison, their words represent the sound of infectious joy — the irony-free expression of a love that's as true as it is hard-won.

"You know you're not in hell," they sing amid smeared synths in the opening minute of "Palomino," and it's another suitable mission statement for a band whose mantra ("Love loud / Don't lose loud") helped make Re-Arrange Us the most big-heartedly romantic record of 2008. Those lines say a lot about Mates of State's modus operandi: Gardner and Hammel's band is built around a core belief in directing love and happiness outward at all times — in taking stock of the gifts we're given, only to decide they're best shared with others.

The other words to "Palomino" mostly scribble out vague sketches of young love ("We were wild and living," "Touching in the backyards of our youth") with bittersweet reminders along the way that the rose-colored past can't be revisited. But the whole thing plays out with almost impossibly ebullient charm, not to mention sweetly catchy "woo-ooh-ooh wooooo-ooh-ooh" choruses. It turns out Gardner and Hammel approach long-gone love with the same generosity of spirit they apply to the permanent treasures in their lives.

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