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New York City, New York, United States | SELF

New York City, New York, United States | SELF
Band R&B Soul


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MATTISON @ The Gutter

Brooklyn, New York, USA

Brooklyn, New York, USA

MATTISON @ Permanent Records (Record Store Day) 181 Franklin St, Greenpoint

Brooklyn, New York, USA

Brooklyn, New York, USA

MATTISON @ Sunny's Bar Red Hook 253 Conover St

Brooklyn, New York, USA

Brooklyn, New York, USA

This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



Sometimes the best discoveries are by happy accident. That was the case last year when I went to The Rock Shop in Park Slope to see a solo show by the New Pornographers’ Kathryn Calder. Although I didn’t have a chance to see Calder (because I had to be somewhere else later that night) I did get to see the opening band perform. Mattison was a complete unknown–I had never heard of them and I didn’t know anything about their sound.

As I watched then perform, I was caught up by Mattison’s music, which was quite different to what I was accustomed to hearing in downtown clubs. The music by this trio–singer/keyboardist Kate Mattison, bassist Jay Steinhauer and drummer Angel Ortiz–could be best described as a mix of retro pop and ‘70s R&B.

At the time of The Rock Shop show, Mattison was working on a full-length record. Now the band is about to release that record, Three’s a Fantasy, tentatively scheduled for May.

“It was definitely not intentional,” Kate, a Greenpoint resident, told us later about the band’s retro-soulful approach. “A lot of times I didn’t think I knew where it was coming from. I’m a very emotional girl…I certainly wear my heart on my sleeve. I’ve always been that way.”

The group’s songs are soul-jazz-pop and the lyrics touch on romantic yearning. “I think a lot of times I would have trouble expressing what I’m feeling in a relationship or outright saying it,” Kate said. “So for me I’ll write a song about it.”

The feel of the record is a reflection of how it was recorded at MetroSonic Studio in Williamsburg. “It’s an all-analog recording,” Kate explained. “We did nothing digital. We did everything super old-school…it just sounds warm and beautiful. At that moment in time when we were recording it…we wanted to convey that warm analog sound, so we might as well do it on tape.”

Originally from Ohio, Kate said she grew up on classical music and performed classical piano. The strong soul presence in Mattison’s sound traces back to some of Kate’s early influences, including Roy Ayers and Janet Jackson. She said she loved the R&B hits: “I can remember sneaking out and riding my bicycle and listening to Smokey Robinson on my cassette player…as a very little girl.”

Kate and Jay performed music together in Ohio before they moved to New York several years ago. So far, the band has performed in venues throughout Brooklyn like Zebulon and the The Rock Shop. Kate especially loves playing at Sunny’s Bar in Red Hook. “In my opinion, that place only has musicians’ musicians in New York City playing there. When we started playing Sunny’s, they were skeptical. They were like, ‘Okay we’ll take a chance on you kids.’ Now we go to Sunny’s and it’s amazing. For me, it’s like one of my favorite spots to play. It’s so special.”

As for the future, Kate says she hopes Mattison will go on to tour for three years. “We’ve had so much fun doing this…we’ve become like a little family the three of us. We all love each other very much…we’ll keep working hard—I’m not ready to stop. I won’t speak for my bandmates but I’m pretty sure they’re not ready to stop either.”

Mattison plays at Littlefield (622 Degraw Street between Third and Fourth Avenues); Friday, Feb. 24; doors 8pm, show 8:30pm; $8. - Brooklyn Based

June 17, at The Rock Shop and opening for Kathryn Calder, the Brooklyn band put the "s" back into "soul"...

By David Chiu

In today's indie music, Mattison is quite different from other bands. Whereas some of those groups try their best to make vintage rock, punk and electronic music, this Brooklyn band takes a page from ‘70s and ‘80s R&B and pop - think of Laura Nyro, Stacey Lattisaw and Teena Marie - with some jazzy instrumentation, soulful singing, and yearning romantic lyrics. Simply put, loud rock guitars and narcissism doesn't seem to fit Mattison's musical vocabulary and sensibilities.

Mattison's music perfectly suited the intimate space of Brooklyn's The Rock Shop, where the band performed as one of the opening acts for New Pornographers' member Kathryn Calder's solo show. Playing to a small but appreciative crowd, Mattison - consisting of keyboardist-singer Kate Mattison, bassist Jay Steinhauer, drummer-singer Angel Ortiz and percussionist Daniel Corrigan - made the most of its nine-song set with some solid musicianship and soulful emotion.

"Gemini," a tune featuring Kate Mattison's Rhodes playing and Angel Ortiz's jazzy drumming, opened the show and set the groove-filled, chilled-out tone for the evening; that song was followed by the lovely "Watch Out," Some of the music's subdued aspects were complemented by more upbeat fare as in "Go Slow," which ended with a somewhat-rocking jam amongst the players; as well as "Baby So Did I." Another song, "Fireman," started off with a lean funk intro with some wah-wah sounds coming from Steinhauer's bass. By the time the show ended with "Terrorize My Heart," the band's sound was so infectious that it got some people in the front grooving to the music.

The musicianship by the band was first-rate, but it also had an off-handed casual cool that made the performances feel somewhat spontaneous and improvisational. Certainly Mattison's Rhodes work highlighted the group's distinctive and identifiable sound, but that was one part of it. Ortiz's playing combined the discipline of both a jazz and rock drummer. Jay Steinahuer's bass work was really impressive, especially during those moments when he made his instrument sound like a wah-wah-sounding guitar. And Daniel Corrigan's percussion rounded off the group's lush pop sound.

Prior to the show, Mattison's previous releases were a five-song EP called Mary from 2009, and a 45 single, "X-Mas"/"Watch Out"; according to Kate Mattison, the group is working on a new full-length record slated to come out in the fall. If Mattison's wonderful set from the Rock Shop provided any signs of what's on the horizon, the upcoming album and band itself are things to definitely worth taking notice of.

Set List (courtesy of Kate Mattison):


Watch Out

Go Slow


Baby So Did I


Ooh I Wanna Love U

Olan Mills Photography

Terrorize My Heart

- Blurt Magazine

Featured track: WAYSIDE
Mattison are a three piece jazz pop ensemble from NYC (via wonderful Kent, OH) featuring the inescapable voice of Kate Mattison. If you like what you hear, they'll be at the Beachland Tavern this Thursday night opening up for Beaten Awake. - I Rock Cleveland

If you dig this stuff then you have to check out fellow Brooklyn musicians (via Ohio), Mattison. Kate's voice is simply amazing and musically they are very similar to the piano-y nature of Garneau, although at times they can rock a little harder. Enjoy. - Who Killed the Mixtape?

I missed this one while I was on the road. Mattison posted a video for "Now the Heads Will Know". The song and the video share the same subtle elegance so they go together well. Mattison, the group, has some regular gigs in NYC that you would be a fool not to go see. - Busted up Bulldozers

Mattison frontwoman/keyboardist Kate Mattison brought down the lights, obscured behind the Small Beast (the 88 key spinet for which the night’s named), shadowy in the light of the candles above the keys and the disco ball’s twinkling swirls across the walls. And then played a show that made a perfect match with the ambience, soulful, smart retro pop, frequently over a live trip-hop beat pushed along by an excellent, terse rhythm section. The vocals started out somewhat disembodied and warmed up quickly, Mattison expertly shading her lyrics with a vintage soul feel, the occasional subtle blue note and just the hint of a rasp in places. Some of her songs had a pensive, almost minimalist sensibility in the same vein as Bee & Flower; others evoked modern artsy pop bands like For Feather or the Secret History, or that one great live album by Portishead. One began stately and beautiful in 6/8 time before morphing into a fast 4/4 hit; another built fetchingly and cajolingly into a “ringalingaling” chorus. Still another catchy pop number segued into a big, anthemic ballad with jazz-tinged vocals and gospel piano inflections. It was almost one in the morning by the time they wrapped up their too-brief, barely 40-minute set. They’re at Coco 66 at 8 on May 20. - Lucid Culture

Kate Mattison fronts her eponymous trio from behind the keyboard, crooning classy, easygoing pop. - Time Out New York

Fridays in February at 10 PM at Pete’s: jazz-pop electric piano/bass/drums trio Mattison. Frontwoman Kate Mattison has a laid-back, clever melodicism not unlike Greta Gertler, and a high, pretty voice to match. - Lucid Culture


August 2006 EP- "Field Trips and Muted Colors"
August 2007 Single and Video "Now The Heads Will Know"
January 2009 LP "Mary"
December 2010 45 Single "Xmas Song" b/w "Watch Out"
December 2011 Video "Xmas Song"
February 2012 LP "Three's a Fantasy" available online



...this Brooklyn band takes a page from ‘70s and ‘80s R&B and pop - think of Laura Nyro, Stacey Lattisaw and Teena Marie - with some jazzy instrumentation, soulful singing, and yearning romantic lyrics. -David Chiu Blurt Magazine