Mattiel | Mattiel

8/10 heavenly racket

Mattiel Brown is something of a newbie in the pop world, but based on her barnstorming self-titled new LP she certainly knows her way around a guitar.
Raised in rural Georgia on a diet of The Monkees and old Donovan records, the sometime designer and musician Brown then moved to creative hotbed Atlanta where she hooked up with backing players Randy Michael and Jonah Swilley. Together, the trio worked on a clutch of tracks that eventually grew into Mattiel’s fully formed debut, out late last year on the hip Heavenly label.
Built around a backbone of tight-as-a-drum riffery and pared down production, each track is a wonderfully simple earworm that grabs and sucks you in immediately. The effect recalls early PJ Harvey, The Black Keys, First Aid Kit and especially The White Stripes. Fast, funky, bluesy, the album rattles by in a super economical 35 minutes with nary a dull moment.
The opening stomp of “Whites of Their Eyes” and raw-funk of “Five and Tens” is where she seems most at home, but the jazzy “Not Today” and “Baby Brother” also impress with their assured confidence and Brown’s banshee-like vocals. As the old adage goes, all killer, no filler.
Dan Ashcroft
Like this? Try these:

The White Stripes De Stijl
Garage-rock blues par excellance.

Yeah Yeah Yeahs Fever to Tell
The state of New York punk in the noughties.

First Aid Kit
Stay Gold
Retro-soaked country folk from Swedish sisters.


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