New Artist Spotlight: Mattiel

Kenneth Butcher

“And in 20 years time will it all be mine, or will I wish that I could take it all back?” – “Keep the Change,” from Mattiel’s album “Satis Factory” (2019) 

New rock up-and-comer Mattiel Brown spent most of her childhood on a farm in Georgia, where she spent her days learning guitar and riding horses alongside other daily farm tasks. Eventually, she moved to Atlanta and got a job working as a web designer and illustrator. 

Shortly after, Brown met multi-instrumentalists Randy Michael and Jonah Swilley (now her guitarist) and bonded over similar music tastes. After she sent them some demos, they asked her to perform live with their band, Black Linen. 

Michael and Swilley were co-owners of a songwriting and production team named InCrowd, so when Brown proposed the idea of fronting her own musical act, they were keen to help. Thus, the Mattiel Project was born. 

They draw inspiration from the post-punk, early 2000s garage-rock revival scene fronted by acts like The White Stripes, Modest Mouse and The Strokes, as well as from ‘60s garage-rock and blues-rock. Mattiel and her band craft rounded angular guitar riffs, driving bass patterns and catchy melodic phrases. 

Mattiel in particular is showing significant improvement in her writing with every new release. She addresses a range of topics, from the potentially damaging effects of certain masculine stereotypes in “Je Ne Me Connais Pas” to reflecting on her path in the music industry and where it could take her in “Keep the Change.” 

There is a general reliance on tambourines and gang vocals that can start to feel a little overbearing a few times, but it’s not enough to affect the overall quality of her records. 

As a newer artist, Mattiel is growing into her sound. Her progression with it is certainly going to be something to look out for. 

To date she’s released two albums and an EP: 2017’s “Mattiel,” 2019’s “Satis Factory” and the EP that came out earlier this year, “Customer Copy.” 

If you like acts like Cage the Elephant, The White Stripes and The Black Keys, then there’s definitely a song or two here that will be up your alley.

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