Parenthood is an undeniable force of change—your way of life is irrevocably altered when welcoming a little one into the world. It certainly impacted the way Kori Gardner and Jason Hammel, performing together as Mates of State, approached the recording of their latest long-player, Bring It Back. By compressing their work into tight timeframes of a few hours each day, the pair found themselves to be incredibly focused. “We found that having a hefty amount of time each day to work on art was extremely inspiring,” Hammel said in the accompanying press release. “We had never done it that way before, mostly because we didn’t have a child who deservedly dictated our schedule.” Pounding out pop tunes between naps and diaper duty must’ve focused Gardner and Hammel intensely—Bring It Back is littered with quirky, playful gems that linger like a sweet, half-remembered dream. The slick, undeniable “Fraud In The 80s” butts up against the flighty, delicate “Like U Crazy,” which gives way to the martial “Beautiful Dreamer,” flowing smoothly on an album of contradictions and juxtapositions. A cohesive whole that bursts at the seams with a barely contained exuberance, Bring It Back finds a happy family unleashing sonic sunshine, spilling out of the speakers with unchecked abandon.
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