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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

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

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