In the video for her latest single, “Je Ne Me Connais Pas,” a careening garage-rock track from her just-released album, “Satis Factory,” Mattiel takes aim at toxic masculinity by inhabiting a version of it herself.
She’s in drag in the video, portraying a leather-pants-wearing, manspreading creep, who swills beer and leers at a quartet of bikini-clad women. The lyrics, though, tell a different story.
“Gonna marry myself and get a divorce,” Mattiel sings. “I’m gonna get kicked right off of my high horse.”
The song’s title also suggests her character is due his comeuppance: It translates, “I do not know myself.”
“That (video) was really fun — and kind of strange,” Mattiel says by phone from Levi’s Haus of Strauss, a hip Los Angeles showroom and event space.
“I don’t know if you’ve ever been in drag before, but I had not had a lot of drag experience until I put on the makeup. I felt different.”
The video spoofs the over-the-top male fantasies of Robert Palmer’s “Addicted to Love” and “Simply Irresistible” clips from the 1980s as well as Robin Thicke’s more recent “Blurred Lines.”
“Those were our references,” Mattiel admits. “And what’s funny is, I ran into Robin Thicke by accident two days before we shot it. He opened a door for me at Henson Studios. I didn’t realize who he was until later. But it was totally by chance. Very weird.”
Mattiel — full name: Mattiel Brown — grew up in rural Georgia, living on her mother’s farm until she left to attend college in Atlanta and Brussels, later taking a job in Atlanta as a designer and illustrator for email marketing service MailChimp — a job she only recently left to make music full-time.
“It was a career I thought I’d have my whole life,” she says. “Which I guess it is, because I still get to do it. I art-direct pretty much everything that goes on with (the band) now.”
The other video from the new album, “Keep the Change,” has a strong visual sense as well, having been shot in a cement factory outside Atlanta.
“They let us have free reign over the whole place for two days,” she says. “It was like 20 hours of shooting in concrete dust.”
“Satis Factory” is the follow-up to Mattiel’s 2017 self-titled debut. Making the new album, she says, “I felt a lot more confident. You can hear the progression from the first one to the new one. The theme I attach to it is that what artists do, they continuously produce work, and they search and search for satisfaction, but they never find it. Which is ultimately a good thing, because if you do find it, you might as well quit, right? So: ‘Satis Factory.’”
Mattiel met her co-writers and production team, Randy Michael and Jonah Swilley — known separately as InCrowd — in 2014 and clicked immediately.
“I sent Randy a message, and we met up and recorded a couple of demos,” she says. “A couple days later I met Jonah, and then we started writing together.”
Initially, she didn’t envision herself as a singer. “It’s such a vulnerable act,” Mattiel says. “I was really afraid of it for a long time.”
That may come as a surprise to those who’ve heard her sing. Her voice booms, and her performance style evinces a swagger that shows no hint of shyness.
“I had a hunch from singing in the car and recording myself that maybe … maybe this is good,” she says, understating the case considerably.
As for her unusual name, Mattiel is indeed her birth name, but its origin is somewhat undetermined. “My mother’s sister was living in Cape Cod, and she had a friend named Mattiel,” she says. “I never met this person. I don’t know. I’ve never met anyone else with the name Mattiel. It sounds French to me, but no one’s really sure.
“I’m sorry — I don’t really have a great story about that.”
What Mattiel • When 8 p.m. Friday • Where Blueberry Hill Duck Room, 6504 Delmar Boulevard • How much $10-$12 • More info 314-727-4444; ticketmaster.com