Mates of State at U Street Music Hall Monday, July 28

Though U Street Music Hall regularly plays host to buzzy DJs and local purveyors of electronic music, its bookers also make room for smaller indie-rock acts. Tonight, that act is Mates of State, the twee wife-and-husband duo of Kori Gardner and Jason Hummel. You’ll recognize their harmonized singing about the birds, the bees, and the intricacies of love, and their breezy “Whoa-ohs” will tunnel their way deep into your ears. In fact, the New Pornographers’ A.C. Newman lovingly (and appropriately) compared them to ABBA, the veritable godparents of the earworm. Mates of State’s last album, Mountaintops, appeared in 2011, but I saw the pair perform live years before that. That afternoon, their infant daughter was on stage with them, swaddled in blankets and wearing huge, noise-cancelling headphones. At that moment, I thought “Damn, these two would sing a mean lullaby.” And then I realized that they’ve actually been singing lullabies all along—catchy ones about the challenges of relationships, employing saccharine sounds to keep some of the world’s melancholy at bay. Mates of State perform at 7 p.m. at U Street Music Hall, 1115 U St. NW. $20. (202) 588-1889.

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