HEAVENLY Recordings’ retro rock singer Mattiel has released a brace of lockdown covers, with both tracks contributing to the NAACP (The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People) defence fund on June 19th (“Juneteenth”) every year at Bandcamp.
Mattiel, whose position in a certain rock’n’roll lineage was underlined by last year’s cracking Satis Factory album, took on The Clash anthem “Guns of Brixton” and Beastie Boys’ “Looking Down the Barrel Of A Gun”, from their cultish second LP, Paul’s Boutique.
Mattiel and bandmate Jonah Swilley explained the decision to release a pair of covers that they knew well: “Both Beasties and The Clash are an integral part of each band member’s musical influences.
“After meeting Paul Simonon on [Later … With Jools Holland] in 2018, we started playing “Guns of Brixton” upon our bassist Travis’s request.
“Our tour manager, Pete, had the Beastie Boys Book floating around the tour van last summer. We all started reading bits of history from their career and shared our collective interest. Mattiel mentioned covering “Looking Down the Barrel of a Gun” from Paul’s Boutique and then we hashed out the details at soundcheck.
“In early March of this year, we decided to cut studio versions of both. It should go without saying that we do not condone gun violence. We chose to release them today [June 19th] in order to benefit Bandcamp’s donation to the NAACP Defense Fund. They have promised to donate 100% of their share in sales every Juneteenth from now on.
“We ask you to interpret these songs as you wish, and we thank Paul Simonon, The Clash, and The Beastie Boys for writing them.”
And she brings a beautifully, echoing, almost Spectoresque feel to both tracks, as you can hear below.