Mates of State confirms the completion and track listing of Crushes (The Covers Mixtape), a covers album to be released this summer and consisting of the following songs by some of the Mates' personal favorites:
1. Laura (Girls)
2. Son et Lumiere (The Mars Volta)
3. Sleep the Clock Around (Belle & Sebastian)
4. Technicolor Girls (Death Cab for Cutie)
5. Long Way Home (Tom Waits)
6. Love Letter (Nick Cave)
7. Second Hand News (Fleetwood Mac)
8. 17 Pink Sugar Elephants (Vashti Bunyan)
9. Roller Coaster Ride (Dear Nora)
10. True Love Will Find You in the End (Daniel Johnston)
Crushes... is the first full length recorded and produced by Mates Jason Hammel and Kori Gardner themselves, with a mixing assist from longtime collaborator Peter Katis (The National, Swell Season, Interpol, etc.). Arguably their most vibrant effort to date, Crushes... has been preceded by a free download of the album opening version of Girls' "Laura," currently available at matesofstate.com. Every one of the album's ten tracks is equal measures bold choice and affectionate celebration. The Mars Volta's brooding psychedelic epic "Son et Lumieire" segues seamlessly into an ever breezier re-interpretation of Belle & Sebastian's "Sleep the Clock Around," while Tom Waits' "Long Way Home" is transformed from a sparse ode to tough luck love into an adrenalized anthem, and so forth.
Commenting on the inspiration behind the genesis of Crushes..., the Mates said, "We've been talking about doing a covers record for a long time. We'd hear a great song at 2 AM while driving the straight line from one part of Texas to the next, and all we'd want to do is play that song as if we had written it. There are so many artists we considered, some for the mere fact that they wrote a perfect song, some for nostalgia's sake, some because more people need to hear them, some for the challenge, and some to shed a whole different light on a song: Our light... make it a duet, more optimistic or maybe less traditional."
The completion of Crushes... also had the unexpected after-effect of jumpstarting the creation of the next Mates of State record: "When we were finished, we couldn't wait to write our own songs again.... We hadn't counted on this covers project making us approach our own songs in these new ways. Too often in the past, we'd get stuck writing in a certain structure. In dissecting these songs, taking out the biggest creative component--actually writing the song--we were more thoughtful of other musical aspects. We considered design, tones, patterns or lack of patterns, the beauty of simplicity and simply put, different artistic impressions of music. And then most of the time we'd come to the conclusion that you just can't analyze and you can't deny a good song, it's just magic... In a sense, these other great bands made us a better band."