These United States are a musical group from Washington, D.C. and Lexington, Kentucky, whose bandleader Jesse Elliott serves as the founding and central member. Elliott's band mates include J. Tom Hnatow, Robby Cosenza, Justin Craig, and Colin Kellogg, and TUS finds frequent collaborators in D.C.-area musicians Mark Charles, Winston Yu, and Josh Read, and in David Strackany (known to the music world as Paleo). The band has released three albums, two in 2008 and one in 2009, via Colorado-based record label United Interests. In the three years since their formation, TUS has played more than 500 shows across the United States, United Kingdom, and northern Europe, and appeared at the South by Southwest and CMJ Music Marathon festivals in the U.S., and the UK's Glastonbury Festival.
TUS' debut album, A Picture of the Three of Us at the Gate to the Garden of Eden, was recorded by Elliott and Strackany in basements and hallways in Elgin, IL, Iowa City, IA, Washington, D.C., and Chicago, IL. In addition to the two primary creators, the album features musical cameos by a large supporting cast -- notably, Saadat Awan, Dan D'Avella, Mark Charles, and Dave Hahn. Picture was produced by Strackany, mixed and mastered by Chad Clark and T.J. Lipple at Silver Sonya Studios in Arlington, VA, and released by United Interests on March 4, 2008. Track 'First Sight' had its UK debut on BBC Radio 6 on July 14, 2008, and the album as a whole enjoyed favorable reviews from The Austin Chronicle, Alternative Press, The Village Voice, and others.
Crimes, the group's second album, was recorded in Lexington, Kentucky at Shangri-La Studios, 6 weeks after the release of A Picture of the Three of Us. It was produced and mixed by Duane Lundy, with co-production by Rob Gordon and These United States (by then composed of Elliott, Hnatow, Charles, Cosenza, and Craig). United Interests released Crimes on September 23, 2008. Paste Magazine, Pitchfork Media, National Public Radio, and others praised the album despite (and in many cases because of) its sonic departure from the group's debut. These United States recorded live sessions and interviews for All Things Considered, Daytrotter, and WOXY.com, as Crimes reached #30 on the College Music Journal Top 200 radio chart in late 2008.
In February 2009, TUS began recording its third album, Everything Touches Everything, at Inner Ear Studios in Arlington, Virginia, with producer T.J. Lipple. Everything Touches Everything was officially released on September 1, 2009.