Listen To A New Song By Mates Of State

Mates Of State's new EP, You're Going To Make It, comes out June 16. (Courtesy of the artist)
Mates Of State's new EP, You're Going To Make It, comes out June 16. (Courtesy of the artist)

Kori Gardner and Jason Hammel aren't the first married couple to write songs about the challenges and celebrations inherent to lifelong love, but few focus more intently on a sense of play. Still, there's nothing naive or unrealistic about their songs: When they sing, "Love loud / Don't lose loud" in 2008's "The Re-Arranger," they're taking care to package a sweet little two-word slogan with a subtle but potent reminder that loving loudly is a job of endless maintenance.

"Staring Contest" opens a new five-song Mates Of State EP with a June 16 release date and the characteristically optimistic title You're Going To Make It. Casting the heady swoon of courtship as a game of intense focus ("It's all about you / I'm wild about you"), "Staring Contest" practically bursts with the giddy excitement of new love. But, taken in the context of Mates Of State's long history — nearly two decades as a couple, complete with two children and seven full-length albums together — newness is a state of mind rather than a reality. Like loudness, it never needs to fade.

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