There's a voice in my head and it keeps singing sweet songs. I hear it when I wake up and sometimes it comes to me throughout the course of the day. When this happens I must put on "Neptune City" by Nicole Atkins. Afterall, it's her beautiful, powercharged vocals that welcomely haunt me, and probably everyone else who has become addicted to her music.
Like most of the Planet Verge staff, Atkins is a Jersey girl. The one regret I have about this is that I never really gave her a second thought while she was up-an-coming in the Asbury Park scene. It's weird because I always knew her name, and being a publicist for so many of the NJ locals (Val Emmich, Hero Pattern, The Parlor Mob, Perfuma, Readymade Breakup, etc.) and running a NJ-based fanzine for six years, you'd think I'd be at a show with Nicole Atkins on the bill. But I swear, it never happened. So even though I may be a little late on the bandwagon, I still take pride in our shared roots. When my fiance happened to catch her at Maxwells and came home raving, I knew it was time to take the initiative and get my hands on a CD.
Lately, I've taken a keen interest in female vocalists. In particular, songs like "Bad News" by Aimee Allen and "I'm Not Cool" by Sohodolls became instant favorites. The jazzy, retro appeal of those songs really got me hooked. And what do you know, Nicole Atkins is a glorius package of jazzy alt. folk rock. Exactly the "more" for which I've been searching. The exact opposite of the songs which I usually listen.
Check her out on www.myspace.com/nicoleatkins, but be warned, the tracks alone don't do her justice. "Neptune City" is an ALBUM. The total package. Something that should be listened to from begining to end. It's only then, that you'll get the full reward.
Tracks to try: "The Way It Is," "Brooklyn's On Fire," & "Love Surreal"
*By Joelle, who is listening to track 6, "Love Surreal," right now.