I find it difficult to believe that I haven’t written about Nicole Atkins until now. Especially considering how much I’ve listened and adored her 2007 album, Neptune City.
To those unfamiliar with Atkins, the talented singer-songwriter has created some amazing songs that are both dense with mood and originality, but perfectly bolster her powerful, unmistakable voice – a voice that despite her stellar songwriting, is her greatest asset and is perhaps one of the secret ingredients that sets her apart.
Atkins’s music carries with it an almost retro vibe – the musical equivalent of a Polaroid photograph. Atkins herself has described her style as ‘pop-noir,’ which is strangely fitting.
The songwriter grew up in Neptune, New Jersey, a place that heavily influenced her creative tendencies. She left after high school to study art and quickly began to absorb the music scene in Charlotte, North Carolina. Not long after that, she began to write her own songs and over a period of a few years, began performing with variety of different bands, until finally building her own through the connections she had made.
Not long after forming Nicole Atkins & The Sea, the band began performing at shows in New York City and quickly found themselves signing to Columbia Records in 2006. The label released Atkin’s EP, Bleeding Diamonds that same year with Atkins’s critically acclaimed full-length debut, Neptune City arriving the following year.
In 2008, Atkins released a 4-song EP simply titled Digs Other People’s Songs. The collection features the songwriter singing her renditions of songs by the Doors, The Mamas & The Papas, the Church and Nada Surf.
Atkins, who has signed with Razor & Tie earlier this year, is preparing to release her long-awaited follow-up titled Mondo Amore in January 2011.