Mar 07, 2023
By Caleb Campbell
Photography by Lucky Banks-Kenny
Jared and Jonathan Mattson have spent the past two decades making music together as The Mattson 2, crafting a trademark fusion of neo-psych, pop, and surf rock, oftentimes alongside their frequent collaborator, Toro y Moi. This year though, guitarist Jared Mattson is striking off on his own for the first time with his debut solo LP, Peanut.
Mattson’s debut is a colorful indie pop gem born during the height of pandemic isolation, allowing Mattson to turn the insular period into fertile ground for playful genre experiments and inventive guitar textures. The full album is out March 31st on Toro y Moi’s Carpark imprint, Company Records, and today Mattson is sharing the record’s latest single, “Burn Down Babylon,” along with an accompanying video, premiering with Under the Radar.
“Burn Down Babylon” delivers an effortless fusion of psychedelic guitar lines, funk rhythms, and pop melody, knitting it all together with Mattson’s slurred and hazy vocals. The guitars lend the track a syncopated reggae feel, enlacing with the earworm basslines for a truly unique groove bolstered by winding earworm hooks. In contrast, the chorus bursts with a driving intensity before moving through some watery neo-psych interludes, tinged with bleary guitar lines and a sun-seared haze.
The resulting track is possibly the most playful, funky, and catchy song written about a bar fight, with the lyrics recalling the time Mattson got punched in the face by a neo-nazi. As Mattson says, “The song references a bar room brawl I had with some neo nazis who were jumping a friend of mine because he was black. I turned into animal mode, and did what I could to defend my friend. My friend almost lost an eye and I lost a tooth in the process.”
Check out the song and video below. Peanut is out everywhere on March 31st via Company Records.