Mates of State

Cosmopolitan’s Book & Stage, Nov. 11

Bright colors, amusing tunes and love. Those were the things I saw, heard and felt while I joined the audience of hipsters to watch the husband-and-wife duo. (Their music even made the girls in short dresses pause their march to Marquee in order to enjoy the moment.)

I fell in love with this band’s unique sound about a month ago when I saw them on the Late Show With David Letterman. Little did I know that Kori Gardner and Jason Hammel have been making music together since the late ’90s. The couple tried different careers before they both realized that music was what they wanted to do. And thank God for that, because they are brilliant together.

Mates of State sound a lot like the popular duo Matt and Kim but with an ’80s vivacious-indie-rock sound. The tambourine was often present and Gardner played her heart out on the keys. While the wife overshadowed her husband’s vocal ability, he held his own with impressive drum solos. And their harmonizing gave me goose bumps. The popular single, “Palomino” made people dance and sing along. “Sway” literally had me swaying back. Even though it took a long time for Mates of State to become popular, it was well worth the wait.