Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Mates of State - "Crushes: The Covers Mixtape"

Today Mates of State return not with a new album of new material but with Crushes: The Covers Mixtape, a self produced and recorded collection of ten hand-picked cover songs re-imagined with their signature harmonies and sound. In preparation for their sure to be fun summer tour with Free Energy and various comedians and side-show acts, they raided their record collection and chose to crush on songs by Belle & Sebastian, Death Cab for Cutie, Tom Waits, Girls, and even Mars Volta among others. They pull out all of the stops including horns, electronic beats, and even incorporate DJ scratching from Jason (who will be the resident DJ for the tour) and electric guitar for the first time.

The first song, morphs the 50’s surf-rock of Girls’ “Laura” into a hip-hop inspired, top-down summer anthem complete with an electronic beat, record scratching and a few ad-libbed lines to make it their own. Their cover of Mars Volta’s dirge-y “Son Et Lumiere” is fitting with the already pretty piano but Jason and Kori illuminate the songs with layers of lilting harmonies. On their faithful cover of “Sleep The Clock Around” by Belle & Sebastian they share lead vocals and include the same horns and bending synth flourishes as the original for a standout moment. Again they both take the lead and include their added doo-wop background vocals on Death Cab’s fan favorite “Technicolor Girls”. On their take on Tom Wait’s “Long Way Home”, they use electric guitar and horns and glam it up for a song just begging to be used in a commercial, with its spirited “yeah, yeah, yeah…” chorus. As a change of pace, Nick Cave’s “Love Letter” is solemn with trade-off vocals and some beautiful high breathy background vocals from Kori. Next they turn Fleetwood Mac’s cheeky “Second Hand News” into a fun sing along with a big beat. Their daughter Magnolia makes a cute vocal cameo on the last part of Vashti Bunyan’s child-like “17 Pink Sugar Elephants”. As a nod to their own past, they revamp “Rollercoaster” by Dear Nora, whom they split a 7” with early in their career, sounding like they wrote the song themselves. The last song is a danceable version of indie-troubadour Daniel Johnston’s “True Love Will Find You In The End” with shimmering keyboards, a punchy electronic beat and what sounds like a ukulele.

As a stop-gap between albums and in anticipation of their upcoming Summer Crushes tour, Crushes: The Covers Mixtape is a perfect summer record and another great release in the Mates of State catalog. The self-released album is out now digitally and will be available on tour as a limited edition CD.

To order the album, get tour dates and more info click here: http://www.matesofstate.com/


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home