I guess it turns out to be guitar month here on Fingertips. A smart and stylish lo-fi rocker, “Not Today” oozes confidence and wonderfulness through the course of its perfect 3:38 pop song length. Propelled by a fuzzy, fluent guitar lick, the song evokes something lonesome and long ago in a package that feels nevertheless very up to date. And I’m not sure exactly how that works, as fuzzy guitar rock isn’t exactly the most up-to-date sub-genre on today’s scene. But that’s the beauty of plumbing rock history for inspiration here in the year 2018—you can find sounds and attitudes from past decades and still, because you’re a 20- or 30-something person in the digital age, write and record a song that feels like now.
Beyond the foundational guitar lick, “Not Today” is dominated by Mattiel Brown’s arresting vocals, which are also fuzzed up a bit, and infused with a tone at once sharp and blasé that recalls Amy Winehouse, at least a little. Meanwhile, don’t overlook the unusually in-sync rhythm section, in which the smashy drums tumble around and about a bass line so deep and concise it too feels like percussion.
Mattiel is a trio based in Atlanta. “Not Today” is from their self-titled debut album, released back in October on Burger Records. It’s a KEXP trifecta this week; this MP3 found its way there in January, and here it is, some months later, as I could no longer ignore it. This one is definitely a grower.