Photo by Brandon McClain
Musical duo Mattiel exude a kind of shrewd Southern shine in their dark jangle-pop productions. The Atlanta group, consisting of Atina Mattiel Brown and Jonah Swilley, not only wear Georgia on their sleeve, but also their arthouse inspirations. Their latest album, Gothic Georgiais not only full of offbeat storytelling, but has lush visual accompaniment to boot, in the form of eye-catching album covers and music videos.
“Our most recent video, for ‘Blood in the Yolk’, is a concept I put together in reference to a 1969 surreal art film called The color of pomegranates“, Said Brown of the visuals. “I spent weeks securing the wardrobe, props and filming locations. I realized at some point that I had to make some of the wardrobe myself…so the hats are made from cardboard and spare upholstery attached with staples.
Brown describes it as DIY, but take a look at any of the band’s many music videos and you’ll immediately feel engrossed in the sometimes mind-blowing visuals. Not to be outdone, Mattiel’s music flourishes behind the songwriting chops of Brown and Swilley. “Blood in the Yolk,” for example, has a Lynchian musical quality, with a sullen, nasal organ and guitar sound telling the story of a last-ditch effort to mend a relationship.
“We wanted to put in cyclical song structures to make you feel like you were in a trance or in a music box,” says Swilley. “While writing the album, we were taking breaks and watching movies to decompress. I was trying to do something musically that could play behind the movie blue velvet.”
Where “Blood in the Yolk” is dark, the single “Jeff Goldblum” has an animated, almost motorized force, and for nearly 3 and a half minutes, Brown sings in a muscular croon about a dream featuring a Goldblum lookalike. This time, however, the music video is a fan-style edit of ’80s Goldblum hits.
Mattiel embarks on a rigorous tour to support Gothic Georgiaand will be at SXSW when the album is released.
Thursday, March 17, 9:40 p.m., Stubb’s