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Premiere: Mates of State, ‘Unless I’m Led’

Indie-pop duo frolic in the wide-open outdoors

Indie-pop duo Mates of State often inject their tunes with an uplifting dose of whimsy. In the video for “Unless I’m Led,” married members Kori Gardner and Jason Hammel playfully frolic across an outdoor expanse in a single take, singing to the camera as they walk across flaming logs, release a cluster of red balloons, thrash a painting, sit at a table and celebrate their emotional fortitude around a small campfire.

“Adhering to the song’s theme of struggle and perseverance during life’s difficult moments, we wanted a kinetic but visceral video that showed physical motion – this motion being the thing that ultimately carries you out of your struggle,” says Hammel. “We shot it in double time, so were often running from station to station . . . Everything you see is depicted as it actually happened. I did fry my hand in the fire at the end.”

“Unless I’m Led” is the band’s fourth video from their 2011 album Mountaintops.

In This Article: Mates of State

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