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Nicole Atkins


Country of origin:

U.S.

Type of music generally:

A blend of beautiful & fierce, alt-country, blues, pop, and rock

Status:

Most recent release, Slow Phaser (2014)

See also:

Nicole Atkins' site

Nicole Atkins' MySpace page

Comparisons:

I've seen her described as "a blend of Roy Orbison, Loretta Lynn, and Jenny Lewis," which sounded pretty good to me. I'd add Fiona Apple, especially vocally. (JoAnn Whetsell)

Covers/own material:

Mostly own

General comments:

I find her stylistically hard to describe, though I really like her. It may be that everything that's so hard to pin down is just what makes her so interesting and brings me back to her music again and again. (JoAnn Whetsell)

Recommended first album:

Neptune City

Recordings:


Bleeding Diamonds

Release info:

2006

Availability:

Wide

Ecto priority:

Highly recommended

Comments:

This is actually the fourth release I've heard of Nicole's even though it's her first beyond a single. It stands up well in comparison to her later work. In fact, I like this earlier, sparer "In a Different City" version of "Neptune City" better than the one on Neptune City. (JoAnn Whetsell)

Neptune City

Release info:

2007—Red Ink/Columbia—82876 84775 2

Availability:

Wide

Ecto priority:

Highly recommended

Group members:

Nicole Atkins

Guest artists:

Petter Lindgard—drums (1-3, 5-7, 10); percussion (1-5, 7, 8, 10); trumpet (4, 5, 9, 10)
Tore Johansson—bass (1-7, 10); acoustic guitar, slide guitar (2); acoustic bass (3)
Jens Lindgard—guitar (1-3, 5-7); trombone (2-5, 9, 10); synthesizer-guitar (3); sitar (5); bass (4, 8, 9)
Martin Gjerstad—piano (1, 2, 5, 8); reed-organ (1, 3, 4, 7, 8); organ (1, 3, 4, 6, 7, 9, 10); string arrangement (1-10); spinet (3); chimes (3, 4, 8); vibraphone (3, 7, 10); mellotron-vibraphone, (5); picked piano (6, 7); electric piano (6)
Filip Runesson—violins, violas (1-10); cellos (2, 3, 10)
Daniel Mintzer—drums (4, 8, 9)
Dave Hollinghurst—guitar (4, 8, 9)
Dan Chen—mellotron-vibraphone (4, 9); reed-organ, electric piano (8)
Sven Andersson—flute (4, 8); saxophone (4, 9)
Korey Mall—percussion (1, 3, 4, 6, 7, 9, 10)
Maria Kohnke, Miranda Gjerstad, Johanna Beckman, Minna Wall, Alexandra Hamnede, Solveig Sandnes—vocals (1, 3, 4, 6-8)
Mattias Gustavsson, Emil De Waal, Andreas Stellan, Ulf Turesson, Peter Minorsson—vocals (4, 6, 8)

Produced by:

Tore Johansson

Comments:

I thought her debut was a work of genius. (smolla@sprintnet.com)

Her voice is clear and powerful, and her compositions are really unusual. Hers is a confident and assured release, brimming with originality and charm. The songs are catchy, challenging, and sometimes surprisingly complex. It's an exciting album, from an exciting new artist. (lasherboy@gmail.com)

I love that it's a little off kilter and has great surprises (a bit of rock, a dash of blues, a smattering of torch vocals, and, oh, I'm not quite sure what else), and I love the songs (especially "Brooklyn's on Fire!"), but I have to admit it's never entirely gelled for me as an album. (JoAnn Whetsell)


Nicole Atkins Digs Other People's Songs

Release info:

2008

Availability:

Wide

Ecto priority:

Highly recommended

Comments:

This little 4-track covers EP is a nice treat. Nicole Atkins has one amazing voice! If you never got her debut Neptune City, you're missing out. (lasherboy@gmail.com)

Great EP! Nicole covers The Doors among others. Very much her, but a different side of her. (JoAnn Whetsell)


Mondo Amore

Release info:

2011—Red Ink/Columbia—82876 84775 2

Availability:

Wide

Ecto priority:

Highly recommended

Group members:

Nicole Atkins—vocals, acoustic guitar, piano, synth, arrangements

Guest artists:

Adam Christgau—drums
Allison Seidner—cello
Anthony Chick—bass guitar
Bradley York—guitar
Brendan Ryan—organ
Christopher Donofrio—drums
Dan Chen—piano, organ
Danny Clinch—harmonica
David Moltz—guitar
Foley Stewart—slide guitar, back-up vocals
Gillian Rivers—violin
Irina Yalkowsky—guitar, slide guitar
Isabell Fairbanks—cello
Jeff Plate—vocals
Jeremy Kay—bass
Phil Palazzolo—guitar, piano, back-up vocals
Yim Yames—vocals
Gary Tedder—vocals

Produced by:

Phil Palazzolo and Nicole Atkins

Comments:

Really strong album, more cohesive than her debut. Of course, one could argue that simply means less stylistic diversity. The album is more guitar-driven, more blues, country, and rock rather than the lush orchestral arrangements of Neptune City. The link is her powerful voice and vocal stylings, and songs like "The Tower" which best melds the styles of both albums.
     The iTunes version comes with liner notes, the "Vultures" video , and the fun bonus track "Oh Canada!" (JoAnn Whetsell)

I didn't pick this up at first because I read some reviews that pointed to it not being as good as her previous release, Neptune City. But I eventually bought a copy, and I'm glad I did. The songs on this CD are not as heavily produced as Neptune City, but it's a solid release. I particularly like "Cry, Cry, Cry" (very catchy), "You Come To Me" (what energy!), and "My Baby Don't Lie." (smolla@sprintnet.com)


Slow Phaser

Release info:

2014—Oh'Mercy! Records—OMR001

Availability:

Wide

Ecto priority:

Highly recommended

Group members:

Nicole Atkins—vocals, guitar

Guest artists:

Sam Bey—drums, percussion
Tore Johansson—bass, guitar, percussion
Martin Gjerstad—organ, synths, vibraphone, percussion
Ulf Turesson—bass
Lars Hallin—guitar
Petter Lindgård—percussion
Jens Lindgård—bass, backup vox
Mike Grier—backup vox
Susanne Johansson—backup vox
Amelia Jakobsson Boyarsky—backup vox
Vilma Johansson—backup vox
Peter Minorsson—backup vox
Darby Cicci—synths

Produced by:

Tore Johansson

Comments:

I really love this Nicole Atkins, definitely better than Neptune City (the only other one I've heard, I missed her sophomore). (timjy@sbcglobal.net)

Nicole Atkins confuses me. She makes music that's interesting and intriguing, that I never know quite how to describe. At first I thought this album was decidedly 70s in sound, then I thought it was closer to Neptune City than Mondo Amore, with some of the sweeping, anthemic sounds that Neptune City had. Now I think neither of those descriptions seems quite right. But I'm enjoying the album more and more with each listen, and that's the only thing that really matters. (JoAnn Whetsell)


Further info:

Nicole Atkins' former band Los Parasols released an EP The Summer of Love in 2002.

Songs on compilations include:

  • "Blue Christmas" on The Hotel Café Presents Winter Songs (2008)
  • "Crystal Ship"* on the Choke soundtrack (2008)
  • "The Seventh Seal" on the Scott Walker - 30 Century Man soundtrack (2009)
Collaborations include:

  • "Misguided Angel" with Bason on his album Avoiding Home (2007)
  • "Solana Avenue" on David Byrne and Fatboy Slim's Here Lies Love (2010)
  • "Seventeen" with Jet on their single "Seventeen" (2010)
  • a live version of "When the Levee Breaks" featuring Bonerama on Dear New Orleans (2010)
  • "Miserable Without You" with Jarrod Gorbel on his EP Bruises From Your Bad Dreams (2011)
*This track appears on the EP Nicole Atkins Digs Other People's Songs.


Thanks to JoAnn Whetsell for work on this entry.

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Entry last updated 2014-08-14 16:37:57.
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