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      Mattiel in Oxford

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      June 15, 2019

      Saturday   9:00 PM

      211 South Lamar Boulevard
      Oxford, Mississippi 38655

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      with Moonwalks
      Watching her onstage, that brown bob of hers whirling like a cyclone as she unleashesher brash and husky riot of a rock voice, its hard to imagine Mattiel Brown was everanything but a natural-born performer, a tried-and-true self-empowered presence.Honestly though I never even believed I could do this all, Mattiel, one of rocks mostthrilling young talents, says. Still, dig deep and shell admit to those times when shed letherself dream: of one day stepping onstage, gripping that microphone and showcasing herskills. Then, she imagined, could at last let it all go, unleash that deep-seeded passion ofhers for melody and rhythm and intricate storytelling and channel her pent-up ferocityinto something real and palpable and powerful.But, adds the soft-spoken singer, whose youth was shaped by an eclectic range ofMusic - from folk to punk and rock to hip-hop - and who for years only sang for hermother in private, I remember thinking all along, Yah, I would love to do that but itsout of my wheelhouse, right? Mattiel pauses and smiles as if to say she now knows shewas capable of becoming a masterful rock frontwoman all along. I guess I just really hadto break out of my skin.Its a damn good thing she did: following encouragement from Jack White during achance encounter in Nashville with her chief musical inspiration and eventual touringpartner, Mattiel made the crucial decision to jumpstart her musical journey by writing andrecording with her now-longtime songwriting partners, Jonah Swilley and RandyMichael. Less than five years later the band stands as one of the mostsingular and buzzed-about acts in rock music. Mattiel is no longer a teenager so unsure ofher talent she was afraid to sing in front of strangers but rather performing for raptaudiences across the globe in the wake of the bands acclaimed eponymous 2017 debut LP,released via Burger Records; wowing viewers with their fiery TV shows like last year onLater With Jools Holland and more recently Last Call With Carson Daly. And now, theyre gearing up to release their highly anticipated second album, Satis Factory. Its all still wild to me, Mattiel admits with a laugh of her whirlwind past two years.Its so incredible knowing Ive invested my time in something that has really started towork. Swilley chuckles when hearing of the singers typically humble take on thepresent day. Having become Mattiels most trusted musical ally and bandmatesince they first began writing together in 2014, hes seen her evolution firsthand.I believed in her from the get-go, Swilley says. Because when you hear her sing - agrizzly blend of Grace Slick and Screamin' Jay Hawkins with the ferocity of a punk-rock head-Thrasher - you instantly know its for real.Mattiel, for her part, is hardly one to sing her own praises. But having seen their debutalbum (released on iconic indie Heavenly in the UK and Europe) be so embraced by such well-respected outlets like the BBCs Radio 6Music , even she can let herself admit her collaborators may have been right all along. Randy and Jonah were so confident about how well my debut would be received, she recalls. They were like, The real music fans are going to get this. And they were right.While she may be patting herself on the back, Mattiels recent success has mostimportantly given her the confidence and creative ammunition to go for broke on SatisFactory. To Swilleys ear, the album is a true rock n roll record, with timelessinfluences ranging from The Clash to The Velvet Underground and even hints of Roger Miller.It was a completely different experience than the first album, he says. It was a lotmore about trying new sounds out and putting weird keyboards through amps. It was alittle more experimental where were having fun playing with different sounds.Mattiel acknowledges their new LP is a hard-hitting and occasionally bruising affair, whatwith her voice regularly sizzling above searing, serpentine guitars (Heck Fire). But on adeeper level, she says, the album is a collection of highly personal and thematic stories.Satis Factory, she explains, is an exploration of the never-ending search for self-gratification. And until recently, having worked full-time as a graphic designer fortechnology firm MailChimp while simultaneously pursuing her musical dreams, its astruggle she knows well.I spent about a solid year-and-a half juggling both jobs full-time, she explains, and theidea of finding pleasure in the process of self-discovery is a concept she directly exploreson the reverb-drenched Millionaire. The first song she penned for the album, thedroney jolt of self-reflection directly wrestles with her love-hate relationship withthe voyage to personal and creative fulfillment. Some people become satisfied doing onething for a very long time, and dont have the impetus to pursue anything else, Mattielsays of the impetus for Millionaire. But Im happiest when Im continually searchingfor that satisfaction even though I may never reach it. Because if Ive totally reached it, Iknow Im doing something wrong. It means Ive become too comfortable. Moments later, a similar sentiment is dished up on the garage rocker Berlin Weekend, with Mattiel snarling, And when the time comes to get down and invest/Get the same house and the same yard and a white picket fence/What now and what then when youve got a means to an end?/What are you gonna do then?For Mattiel, learning to honor her achievements remains a work in progress; itssomething she admits to only acknowledging when onstage and hearing her lyrics sungback to her by her ever-growing audience. I wish that I had more time to enjoy the Itsall happening part, she says, but Im busy doing so many different things.Yes, despite her growing profile the self-admitted perfectionist has remained extremelyhands-on with all facets of her career. Its very hard for me to give someone freecreative reign on something unless I know them very well, Mattiel admits. To that end,the multi-talented artist served as co-director alongside filmmaker Matthew Addingtonfor the music video to the albums jangly guitar-anchored lead single Keep the Change.Shot at an old cement factory outside Atlanta, and finding the singer dashing wildlyamong old machinery, Mattiel says shooting the mesmerizing video kinda felt likerunning around inside a video game with all the tunnels, catwalks and passageways. Inother words, she was into it.And now, despite the excitement surrounding Satis Factory and a forthcoming tour ofNorth American and Europe that kicks off in May at Third Man Records and findsthe band gigging in locales from Montreal to Madrid, she and her longtime musicalcompatriots are keeping their eyes forward.Were just trying to keep on challenging ourselves and put ourselves in uncomfortablesituations to make good music, Swilley offers of Mattiels promising future. This issomething I always thought I had inside me, Mattiel says. I suppose when the time wasright these things fell into place as they should.

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