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Nicole Atkins

With her throaty vibrato and lushly orchestrated pop songs, Nicole Atkins made her debut in 2006, bringing to mind a blend of Roy Orbison, Loretta Lynn, and Jenny Lewis. She was raised in Neptune, New Jersey, and relocated to North Carolina during her late teens to study illustration at UNC Charlotte. After befriending members of the Avett Brothers and logging several years with the alt-country band Los Parasols, Atkins briefly returned to the tri-state area, where a series of open-mike performances in Manhattan's East Village helped her hone a sound that was more indebted to pop music than her work with Los Parasols.

Atkins spent the following years traveling between North Carolina and the Northeast, eventually settling in New Jersey at her parents' house. Performances in New York City helped her attract attention from several local musicians, and Atkins began piecing together a backing band comprised of guitarist Dave Hollinghurst, bassist John Flaugher, drummer Dan Mintzer, and keyboardist Daniel Chen. Operating under the name Nicole Atkins & the Sea, the band secured a residency at Piano's -- a popular nightspot in the Lower East Side -- and struck a deal with Columbia Records on the strength of Atkins' demo recordings and impressive performances. Atkins released the Bleeding Diamonds EP in 2006, and the group decamped to Sweden later that year to work on a full-length album. Featuring the songwriter's self-professed "pop noir" sound, Neptune City arrived in late 2007, followed by an EP of cover material in 2008.

After lending her vocal talents to A.C. Newman's album Get Guilty, Atkins went through a period of transition during the making of her second album. She parted ways with her original backing band, broke up with her longtime boyfriend Paul Ritchie (of the Parlor Mob), and found herself at odds with Columbia Records. As a result, Mondo Amore wasn't released until early 2011 (via Razor & Tie), and the album found Atkins exploring new influences, including blues and vintage psychedelia. Atkins toured extensively in support of Mondo Amore, playing shows for close to a year, and then began work on a third album, writing new material with producer and percussionist Jim Sclavunos. However, in 2012 Atkins' home in New Jersey was hit by Hurricane Sandy; she was thankfully in Memphis when the storm battered the East Coast, but she was still left temporarily stranded. Word of Atkins' troubles got back to Tore Johansson, a producer and musician who had worked on Neptune City; he invited her to join him at his residential studio in Sweden, and there Atkins sorted through the lyric ideas and song fragments she'd stored in her iPhone and fashioned them into an album, the ambitious and eclectic Slow Phaser. Rather than deal with yet another record company, Atkins opted to release Slow Phaser through her own label, Oh'Mercy! Records, financing the project through a successful crowd-funding campaign. The album was released in January of 2014. ~ Andrew Leahey, Kenyon Hopkin & Mark Deming
full bio

Comments

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Her song Cool Enough has an orchestral ELO vibe to it. Loving it!
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el57myers
She's a big talent and deserves much, much more attention than she gets, but that'll change.
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star on the RISE
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Just saw her last night! She opened for the Avett Brothers. Very talented musician.
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I saw her for the first time this past weekend at a Sandy relief benefit in Shark River Hills. I love her voice. She was absolutely great. Definitely going to purchase her music.
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I remember her when she was in diapers living on Bennett ave back in neptune city. Good luck kid!
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just saw her live, and she is out of this word. she has an unearthly, sultry voice, and she is so confident and beautiful onstage.
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I cant believe I am the last person to comment three months ago! She should be a huge star!
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Another great artist who has been established almost a decade but only gets about twenty comments even on pandora which is such a great outlet to introduce people to new music! As usual despite new and exciting resources alternative artists get the shaft but the big pop stars have hundreds if not sometimes thousands of comments! Tragic!
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theotherfoxh o u n d
holy f**king s**t i love this woman
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this chic is INTENSE.♥
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come to Miami, fl!!!!!!!!!! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !
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Tonight at The Stone Pony with Uncle Chuckie . hehe
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franiam67
See you soon in Rahway Nicole!
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The girl has the most gorgeous voice i've ever heard
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so excited for the release of her new album next week!!!!! I just pre ordered it on itunes!!
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sarafae
Hi fans, you can download "Vultues" for free right here: http://on.fb . m e / g l T v E Q . Happy listening everyone!
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I <3 Neptune City-a lot.
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dawncynamon
Dreamy & rich.
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Saw her open for Chris Isaak last year. Never heard of her before that, but she blew me away with her voice and her musical style. Great stuff.
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I LOVE HER! I saw her in Atlanta March 18 2008, and I will damn well be in the first row of The Earl on Nov. 2 2009. Neptune City has been in my CD changer for a year. Not even Works, Vol. I tops that.
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When we met her and the band after the show, they were some of the friendliest and down to earth people I have ever met. My wife still corresponds with her a year later. They do put on a great show. We have her new demo and it is great. Ya'll are in for a treat when the next album comes out.
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I like this song...kind of a throw back feel to it!
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eija_naika
This girl has a wonderful sound that is vaguely reminiscent of bye gone styles - Roy Orbison. Her self description of "Pop Noir" is perfect.

Report as inappropriate
robojo44
I'm seeing her next week opening for The Avett Brothers (THE most fantastic living band on earth) and if she's okay with them, she'll surely be first rate.
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love her sound...
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jeffhumbert
I've seen her three times now, including two shows at the beloved Stone Pony in Asbury Park. All I can say is she's nothing short of incredible. I took someone who'd never heard her before to the first show at the Pony and she was completely blown away and I just said, "I told ya." Catch Nicole & the Sea live if you can.
Report as inappropriate
i saw nicole atkins on the letterman show and she blew me away. totally awesome voice. unique. i immediately got her cd the next day and went to see her at 'the stone pony' in asbury park and am planning on going to see her in january at the bowery ballroom in nyc. her show at the 'pony' on december 1st was totally wonderful.

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