It’s always a disappointment when your favorite band breaks up or a crucial member parts ways with the others. On the other hand, that frees the artist to pursue alternative musical paths and surprise their fans. Such is the case with States, whose members boast an impressive legacy in the indie rock scene, and their debut record Room To Run solidifies them as a band to keep your eye on.
The melodic, indie-pop five-piece States formed after indie rockers Copeland disbanded. Brothers Bryan and Stephen Laurenson began conceptualizing their next musical venture, and the duo asked Mindy White, formerly of indie act Lydia, to join them. She stepped out from her previous position behind a keyboard to lend her captivating vocals to their new project, and after hearing early mixes of their efforts together, ex-Copeland drummer Jonathan Bucklew and bassist Dean Lorenz joined the lineup. The result is a band whose musical history fits together perfectly to form an indie rock supergroup.
The re-released debut record by States, Room To Run (Tooth and Nail Records), features seven unreleased bonus tracks and two new original songs. I heard some of these new tracks live this month as States opened for The Rocket Summer and knew I had to get my hands on a copy of the album once it dropped.
Copeland and Lydia created beautiful music but at times were a bit melancholy. They produced albums that were great to put on after a breakup, but not something that could have a permanent spot in my record rotation. States, however, is a more positive, uplifting hybrid of the two bands and succeeds in blending the talents and influences of its members. There’s more pep in their step this time, particularly in pop-tinged songs like “Versus The Mirror,” “Captivating Me,” and “Something Everlasting.”
The soothingly indie track “Follow It Home” features a hook that has been in my head for days, so much so that my roommate has asked me to stop singing it around our apartment. “Generation” has the potential to become a summer anthem, and “Right Or Not” packs a refreshingly new punch for these laid-back artists. White was born to be a front woman; her voice is impressively powerful and encapsulates a wide enough range to place her firmly in the ranks of Flyleaf’s Lacey Sturm or Paramore’s Hayley Williams.
There’s something to be said for these musicians who have the drive and desire to continue making music after previous projects fall apart. With States, these artists have been through the ringer and have come out stronger and more passionate about creating lush, layered tracks that stay in your head for days. Room To Run is more than a lighthearted album to listen to this summer; it heralds the return of musicians that are climbing their way up the indie rock ladder again.
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