Highly stylized aesthetics and lushly layered pop might be where to find the roots of States in terms of sound, but the essence of the band holds itself under the idea that creation comes from collaboration. Ideas need to be cultivated, grown, and harvested. "Here we are," front woman Mindy White declares, “and we can go wherever we want." With no confines and no chief-songwriters to be praised - or the pressures of hype and business - States debut album Room to Run is much more than an album full of '90s chart minded hooks; it's a debut of a band that works as a collective.
In fall of 2009, the emotionally driven outfit Copeland had announced that their time was at an end. With a farewell tour in the works, guitarists Bryan Laurenson and his brother Steve - who had become a touring member of the band - knew they had to begin weaving themselves into a new project, one that would be more focused on urgent grandiose melodies than soft-spoken ballads. "I was the pop kid in Copeland," Bryan confessed, which makes him and his brother's return to pop centric music all that more natural.
Wanting to move on as soon as the final curtain fell, the two quickly turned to former Lydia keyboardist, and past tour mate, Mindy White to see if she had interest in stepping to the front of the stage. But even before she heard a song or mention of the project, she asked if the two wanted to start a band together. The three began organically refining the early demos that both Laurenson brothers had sketched. Once hearing early mixes, ex-Copeland drummer Jonathan Bucklew and bassist Dean Lorenz joined in to fill out the line up.
By the fifth adaptation, it was clear the songs could be released on their own, making the Line 'Em Up EP act as a preview of what States had in store and reintroduced them to the fans they had gained from their previous bands. Soon after release, States embarked on their first tour opening for Anberlin.
"We’re doing what we wanted and we'll take the band where's is supposed to go,” White explains, a child-like joy and smile marks her statement. It’s in the creative freedom that Room to Run acts as a story of the band itself. "I know there is a purpose in us finding each other."
Under the production guise of Aaron Sprinkle at the Compound Recording Studios in Seattle, Washington, each song’s eclectic axis became multi-layered portraits shedding light on what it took to get States to be a band. Their past growth and self-discovery had been frozen and framed into a debut album.
From Versus the Mirror, a song inspired by the self-doubt that grabbed White on initially leaving Lydia, to the reoccurring themes of journeying into the unknown of one’s own decisions, it's quite clear that States is a band that makes their own path.
Room to Run is an album about moving on as much as it is about the surprise of crafting songs free of hesitation—a glorious letting go to roam free and unbound, like the lost boys in Neverland. The rules here are what you make it.