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Posted on June 16th, 2015 (10:00 am) by Travis Boyer

In time for the summer season, Mates Of State return with a pop supreme sampling in the form of the You're Going To Make It EP. The husband and wife duo of Kori Gardner and Jason Hammel have shed any rock elements that existed in past singles such as “Palomino.” While they have usually maintained a balanced sound, this EP is mainly a pop endeavor; through swooning synth and wavering melody, Mates Of State have delivered a promising preview of what may be in some future full-length: a smooth, pop showcase.

However, You’re Going To Make It is not without its contrasts. In the span of five songs, there is a distinct difference between the bittersweet and the boppy. Four songs out of the mix exemplify this roller coaster ride, a short yet sharp rise and fall action in a small amount of space. You’re Going To Make It is a well-balanced pop attack that moves Mates Of State into a highly synthesized mode, working equally well in the positive and negative melodic tones while producing a winning formula.

The dominant theme of highs and lows takes roots with “Gonna Get It,” a swooning, downtempo cut that soon builds into a raucous, rising number. There is a tinge of hesitance about taking the leap, making this bittersweet track a signal that the EP will not be formulaic in the least. Gardner’s vocals take flight in each round of the chorus, but are still tamped down by the limited range of the escalating synth melody. “Gonna Get It” does not go all in, but isn’t required to in order to make an impact. It's a far cry from the high-energy “Staring Contest," a track centered on stubbornness that is steadfast only in getting the most out of the combative cut. Beat for beat, up and down, this track never lets up for a second.

The rest of the tracks run through a similar gambit of variations; “I Want To Run” is the infectious pop supreme entry of the bunch. Attacking with a laser array of synth, it's pinpoint accurate in hitting all requisite highs, taking off on a wave of bobbing melodies that sweep the listener up into the whirlwind that is “I Want To Run.” “Sides of Boxes” concludes with a decidedly downward turn. An altogether swaying melody is accompanied by Gardner’s delicate vocals and compounded by a set of thumping drums. Bittersweet through and through, it caps off an EP that effectively produces a diverse, meaningful brand of pop that often does not naturally occur.

You’re Going To Make It achieves something most indie pop artists strive for but almost never accomplish: a dynamic sound. Most of the time what is produced is light, synthetic pop that borders on nonchalance. Mates Of State have none such quality about them here; You’re Going To Make It is neither disposable nor imperceptible pop. It is a concerted effort to produce thoughtful melodies that aren’t just light and happy, and if a full length is in the near future, this sample should be the basis for it.

Track List:

  1. Staring Contest
  2. Beautiful Kids
  3. I Want to Run
  4. Gonna Get It
  5. Sides of Boxes
Mates of State - You're Going to Make It EP
Purchase at: Amazon | eMusic

Our Rating

73 / 100
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