Mates of State
Husband-and-wife team Jason Hammel and Kori Gardner make gorgeous pop songs as easily and casually as the rest of us shower in the morning. Much has changed for them since their duo Mates of State’s 2006 debut on Barsuk, Bring It Back. They have moved to New York and had another daughter, for starters. But Re-Arrange Us continues Mates’ run of catchy cuts, led by “Get Better,” “Help Help” and the title track, which speaks to the difficulties of marriage and pregnancy. For the most part brushing aside the (occasionally grating) experimental flourishes that informed some of its earlier work, the duo instead focuses squarely on doing what it does best, setting oft-devastating lyrics to electric organ and drums. The result? Mates’ best album yet.