When I popped my headphones in for a first listen of Atlanta singer Mattiel’s debut single “Whites of Their Eyes,” I’m pretty sure I held my head higher and puffed out my chest almost immediately. This is the kind of song I would listen to before an important meeting to trick myself into a state of badass confidence. Then I watched the video for the single and the aesthetic is absorbing. It’s crisp, clean, vibrant, and never stops being gorgeous.
Narrative takes a backseat to style, but Mattiel’s soul piercing vocals more than make up for a coherent storyline. Hailing from rural Georgia, Mattiel mixes soulful Americana with slick California sensibilities in a deliciously digestible way in both the single and its accompanying video. Although an indie sound and a Wes Anderson look can be overdone, special touches of tongue-in-cheek moments and self-awareness keeps Mattiel fresh.
The single and video had me hooked. Since then, I’ve moved on to listening to the album end to end. I’ve barely listened to anything else for the past couple of days. The whole album playthrough is cohesive, yet each song has its own distinct energy. There’s hints of twang, as with the song “Salty Words.” There are a lot of heavy drums and guitar, a la Jack White and the Black Keys. “Baby Brother” is jazzy and majorly danceable. And the warm and fuzzy lo-fi quality blends beautifully with Mattiel’s poised talk-shout singing; “Cass Tech” is just one example.
Mattiel is beautiful, rock subgenre-bending album for the badass woman of 2017. Check out the “Whites of Their Eyes” video below and get ready to take on the world.
Mattiel is a singer and designer from Atlanta, Georgia. Her self-titled debut album is out now from Burger Records.
Photos and gif via Mattiel
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