Paradigm: States 

"Summer Love" in the dead of winter

Since releasing its debut EP Line 'Em Up a few years ago, States has slowly and subtly been making its mark on the music scene. That collection of infectious, ethereal pop rock led into last year's full-length debut, Room to Run, which was produced by Aaron Sprinkle and released by Tooth & Nail Records. Both releases were critically acclaimed and left fans hungry for more.

Now the band, which is comprised of former members of Copeland and Lydia, is back with Paradigm, and despite sounding similar to earlier releases, it marks a slight shift in a new sonic direction for the band--and it is an exciting one.

Echoing pop rockers like "I Hope You Stay Gone" and the dreamy mid-tempo rock track "Running Awake" are vintage States, with singer Mindy White's vocals entrancing and ensnaring as easily as ever. "Summer Love" is a perfect track to listen to now; while it sounds like a summer anthem, it actually focuses more on reminiscing about better, more ideal times. But there are some engaging curve balls thrown in, such as the tribal percussion, shoegaze-centric rock sounds and White's surprisingly raw vocals on "Forever," as well as the electropop-tinged track "Electric Mind." The album even takes on more of an echoing, otherworldly sensibility at times on "Circles" and "Closer," so sonically, this album is very diverse.

A more mature effort, but no less dreamy and exquisite than their first two releases, Paradigm is a nice end-of-the-year find.

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