In 2001, the two members of this popular Connecticut combo got married (and last year they had a daughter), forming a family that their music suggests will endure. Indeed, singer/organist Kori Gardner and singer/drummer Jason Hammel play their tightly harmonized indie-pop anthems so exuberantly, you can hear how stoked they are to have discovered a way to spend more time together than the average husband and wife. Unfortunately, the health of their relationship seems to work in inverse proportion to the quality of their recordings. Throughout Mates of State’s fourth full-length, it’s easy to wish the duo would bring the bright-eyed excitement down a notch or two, giving their jumpy tunage a little room to breathe or shading the oppressive good vibes with some darkness. They get closer to achieving that goal here than in the past: “What It Means” bounces along on a tensely quiet piano line, and “Nature and the Wreck” threatens to turn into a moody goth-pop ballad. But then it’s right back to sunshine time.
Mates of State + Maria Taylor + Via Audio | March 23 | Middle East downstairs, 480 Mass Ave, Cambridge | 617.864.EAST.