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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 the attention of several local musicians, and she 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. 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. She 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. In 2012, Atkins' home in New Jersey was hit by Hurricane Sandy; she was in Memphis when the storm battered the East Coast, but 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. Atkins later revised her opinion of record labels, signing to the Florence, Alabama-based Single Lock Records for her fourth studio album, Goodnight Rhonda Lee. Released in 2017, it was recorded in Fort Worth, Texas, with production trio Niles City Sound, and had a lush, retro vibe with flavors of country-soul and jazz-funk. ~ Andrew Leahey & Mark Deming
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Stations Featuring
Nicole Atkins

    Female Focus

    Female Focus
    1 song

Albums by
Nicole Atkins

Top Songs by
Nicole Atkins

  1.   Song
  2.   Maybe Tonight
  3.   Party's Over
  4.   Under the Milky Way
  5.   Inside of Love
  6.   Who Killed the Moonlight?
  7.   Listen Up
  8.   The Way It Is
  9.   Blue Christmas
  10.   Together We're Both Alone
  11.   Cool Enough
  12.   Brooklyn's On Fire
  13.   The Little Drummer Boy
  14.   Cry Cry Cry
  15.   You Come to Me
  16.   Vultures
  17.   Hotel Plaster
  18.   This Is for Love
  19.   Goodnight Rhonda Lee
  20.   Heavy Boots
  21.   Red Ropes
  22.   We Wait Too Long
  23.   Cool People
  24.   Neptune City
  25.   Neptune City by Nicole Atkins & The Black Sea
  26.   Darkness Falls So Quiet
  27.   Carouselle
  28.   Skywriters
  29.   Sleepwalking
  30.   A Little Crazy
  31.   Dancing in the Dark
  32.   Sin Song
  33.   The Worst Hangover
  34.   Gasoline Bride
  35.   Girl You Look Amazing
  36.   The Tower
  37.   My Baby Don't Lie
  38.   Dream a Little Dream of Me
  39.   Kill The Headlights
  40.   War Torn
  41.   Snowshakes
  42.   War Torn
  43.   Love Surreal
  44.   Delora
  45.   What Do You Know?
  46.   War Is Hell
  47.   Bleeding Diamonds by Nicole Atkins & The Black Sea
  48.   Pissing In a River
  49.   Crystal Ship
  50.   You Were the Devil
  51.   It's Only Chemistry
  52.   Above as Below
  53.   If I Could
  54.   Colors
  55.   Brokedown Luck
  56.   I Love Living Here (Even When I Don't)
  57.   A Night of Serious Drinking
  58.   A Dream Without Pain

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