Mattiel are releasing their second album, Satis Factory, on June 14th via ATO Records. Recorded and produced in their native Atlanta, Mattiel brings a different, punchier sound with this album. Their previous effort, 2017’s Mattiel, is full of dusty, cinematic, garage rock, whereas Satis Factory is much cleaner and stylish. Frontwoman, Mattiel Brown’s songwriting is striking in a modest manner, as her lyrics are laid with irony and parody.
Brown has a very distinct voice that sounds like she’s singing from the 1960s with a swinging rock and roll tune which adds to her character. The echo of ‘je ne me connais pas’, in the song, you guessed it, “Je Ne Me Connais Pas”, creates a numbing chant. The song takes a skewer and roasts toxic masculinity. For the non-francophones among us, the translation of the song’s punch line is “I don’t know myself” as she sings “I’m a lone star man, I’m a dead ringer” who is “gonna get kicked off my high horse”. The video adds some salt, as Brown dresses in drag, equipped with a goatee and black leather trousers in which she manspreads without care. Cut to a couple of scenes and she’s ripping up Robin Thicke’s controversial “Blurred Lines” by taking the shot-for-shot scene of the woman on the exercise bike with the other swimsuit model walking by as she gawks at them, Mattiel has reached the peak of toxic parody.
“Millionaire” follows the irony of the rest of the album. Poking fun at society’s need to be wealthy, the new state of satisfaction is being a millionaire, Mattiel woefully sings in an exasperated manner, “did you expect to get a guarantee working in that Satis Factory?” A long drawn out “ohhhh baby” brings a sympathetic, pitying tone. Repetition of “might as well be a millionaire” fades the song out in a dead ring.
“Blisters” is about exactly that. Brown is assertive in her tone singing, “look at all these blisters on my feet all that misinformation doesn’t mean much to me, if you took a moment to let me have the floor I’d say all my fear and shame have fallen out the door”. These words speak of turbulent politics, swarmed by misinformation and fake news. The track sings of the wounds that are consequential to bullshit. Kiind of like running your mouth, but you’re running your feet to blister.
This may only be Mattiel’s second album, but it won’t be anywhere near their last. The music compliments the ironic, and thought-provoking lyrical choices. Brown’s 1960’s shrieks with a wave of rock and roll are not what we thought we needed in 2019, but its definitely what we wanted.