Mattiel Brown (pronounced ‘maa-TEEL’). grew up on a five-acre farm in rural Brooks, Georgia, the only child of a Detroit native....
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Mattiel Brown (pronounced ‘maa-TEEL’). grew up on a five-acre farm in rural Brooks, Georgia, the only child of a Detroit native. “My mom bought the farm in the early ‘90s. She had – still has – horses, so I learned to ride western-style when I was 6, 7 years-old,” (a skill Brown nods to in her cover art). “We had a vegetable garden and chickens. My mom would sell sheep’s wool and eggs. Before that, she’d been a professional set decorator working on films. She’s a really driven, creative person. I definitely inherited my work ethic from her.” As an adolescent, Brown delighted in the ‘60s folk and pop of her mother’s limited vinyl collection: Donovan, Peter Paul and Mary, and Joan Baez. As an adult, relocated in neighbouring Atlanta, she’d sing along to the radio on the long drives to work: Screamin’ Jay Hawkins, Andre 3000, Dylan, Marc Bolan, Sister Rosetta Tharpe, and Jack White.
When Brown first began jamming with InCrowd, the Atlanta-based song-writing and production team behind her dynamite eponymous debut, she had no real designs on making a whole album and no game plan beyond the fun of “creating something out of nothing.” She said, “That process is always pretty astounding to me, and doing it with other people is even better.” But her producers, Randy Michael and Jonah Swilley, knew a good thing when they heard it.
In the studio, Michael cut InCrowd records live, no overdubs, feeding everything through a rare analogue Peavey soundboard. “That’s how InCrowd rolls. What you hear on our records is everyone playing and singing together, in the same room, at the same time. We cut it right there, as it happens, and its either magic or its not.” Mattiel’s process was just so: InCrowd supplied the instrumental compositions – raucous, swinging medleys frilled with organs and brass – while Brown provided vocals and lyrics, the latter often written freestyle, in situ. “That’s where the parallels between music and design really happen,” says Brown. “Your limitations – time, space, expense – push you to be as creative as you can with what you have.” The resulting collection of songs, set for a UK release this May via Heavenly Recordings
2LP Pressed on Crystal coloured vinyl
Tracklisting 1. Whites of Their Eyes 2. Send It on Over 3. Baby Brother 4. Not Today 5. Cass Tech 6. Bye Bye 7. Five and Tens 8. Silver Pillbox 9. Just a Name 10. Count Your Blessings 11. Salty Words 12. Ready to Think