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Alternative & Indie - Released June 14, 2019 | ATO Records

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Alternative & Indie - Released June 14, 2019 | ATO RECORDS

The second album by Atlanta-based retro-contemporary singer Mattiel (Mattiel Brown), Satis Factory returns collaborators Randy Michael and Jonah Swilley from her 2017 self-titled debut. The pair are not trivial contributors to her work to this point; while Mattiel writes the lyrics and melodies for her songs, between them, Michael and Swilley have written, recorded, produced, mixed, and played multiple instruments for her releases. It's a symbiotic arrangement that began when they met in 2014 and bonded over similar tastes in music. Satis Factory delves into a further-expanded stylistic selection, representing not only the debut's blues-rock-injected '60s garage and R&B inspirations, but interests spanning proto-punk and classic Nashville country-pop. A contemporary approach to production brings their sound into its own century without streamlining performances. The album kicks off with the simmering "Moment of Death," a noir-ish takeoff on "Misirlu" with fluttering, echoing guitar, and Mattiel in the low end of her range snarling "Just like me, don't need to please." She extends her melodic range on the yelping, delay-spattered "Je Ne Me Connais Pas," a track highlighted by a cracker-jack retro garage rock guitar solo by Randy Michael. Elsewhere, the Velvet Underground ooze through the shambling "Millionaire," and "Blisters" blends retro-rock with a lively country rhythm courtesy of upright bass and drums, honky tonk piano, and disgruntled vocals that have had enough ("And if you took a moment just to let me have the floor/I'd say that all my fear and shame have fallen out the door/And searching for acceptance or permission isn't worth it anymore"). The rollicking, Rivieras-evoking organ-rock tune "Berlin Weekend" is just one of several other worthwhile stops on a 12-track album that ups the ante on an already attention-grabbing debut. ~ Marcy Donelson