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Aural Fix: Mattiel

Aural Fix: Mattiel

Rock fans will want to keep a close eye on Atlanta-based artist Mattiel Brown. Singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, Mattiel was born and raised in Georgia on her mother’s farm. An early life shaped by rural landscapes, hard work and the solitude of farm life are hard hitting in her music, which evokes an undeniable sense of place anchored in the numinous American West. The lilting, honeyed richness of Mattiel’s voice lends depth and emotion to the band’s joyful, kaleidoscopic, distinctly Southern sound.

Critics have attributed a number of sub-genres to Mattiel in an attempt to define her style. From “desert noir” and psychedelia to blues, garage, beach, country-western and indie, Mattiel’s music embodies the true spirit of American rock. Listeners with a keen ear can pick up on the influences of Screamin’ Jay Hawkins, The Mamas & The Papas, Sister Rosetta Thorpe, The Black Keys and The White Stripes in her songs. “I will be ur safe space to admit you love rock n roll. Shhhhh. It’s okay. You’re safe now,” she joked on Twitter.

But don’t be fooled: Mattiel’s got soul and she uses it to flirt with our sense of nostalgia, weaving aural tapestries that are both unexpected and hauntingly familiar. Her lush soundscapes and soaring vocals stir sudden, wild, inchoate desires we didn’t know we had. Mattiel’s latest album, Satis Factory, inspires a relentless ache of yearning as it explores the never-ending quest for self-gratification.

“We continue on to something else, always searching,” explains Mattiel. “We are satisfied, we go to sleep and wake up hungry for more. It’s a positive thing to always want more. Most artists I speak to are smart enough to know that the end result of their work isn’t going to give them the satisfaction that they get from making it. It’s a broad, but pretty important idea.” Perhaps this is exactly what makes Mattiel’s music so immediately recognizable and impressively replay-able: it feels familiar, because it is.