Music Moment: Nicole Atkins

Nicole Atkins is someone I stumbled over last year or maybe the year before after hearing one of her songs in a commercial and googling adtunes for days to find it. She has a really great, unique sound. She calls her music pop-noir. She can find the creepy in anything, but then she has these deeply layered compositions topped by her sparkly vocals that can be really wracked and tortured and low or soaring and pure, depending on the mood of the moment… she’s wonderfully trained and talented, it’s really good stuff. Plus she’s pretty!

Look at that prettiness! She is a lion face, one of my favorite face types (all people look like an animal to me, or a blend of animals). I adore leonine women and I really love that she has a schnoz. It gives a woman character to have a big nose or a gap in her teeth, you know? It puts them that extra step past adorable into asymmetrically one of a kind, infinitely loveable. This goes for all of you. Love what you think are your flaws cause that’s probably the one part of you I seize on and fetishize most. Christy Anne, the bump in your nose and your monkey hands, I have rhapsodized about this to you at length before. Miss D, your little dark-auburn colored freckles across the bridge of your nose and under your eyes so when you smile your cheeks lift them up, Sarah-fina’s crazy long fingers and peanut toes, the wicked arch that Panda Eraser’s magnificent eyebrows take on right before she’s about to say something wonderfully filthy, the way the LBC snorts and her collarbones seize up for a second and are more prominent above her breasts right before she bursts into laughter… so endearing. I love you all! I’m off topic. Back to Nicole Atkins.

I like this video here because it is made by someone in Brooklyn who likes Nicole Atkins and the 4th of july and baseball and likely all manner of things on which we could sit around and agree all day. Thank you, stranger! Your video’s view count has been dramatically affected by me since I found this last month!

Oh, Brooklyn’s on fire!,
and fills July hearts with desire
Sleep will not come until the morn
Cause tonight your memories are born
–“Brooklyn’s on Fire!”, Nicole Atkins, Neptune City.

Nicole Atkins is compared to a lot of musicians who are associated with the so-called “Brill Building Sound”, a sound that includes a lot of my favorite artists of the 50s, 60s, and 70s, but —

I realized these Music Moment posts tend to run really long because I like music way too much, and can’t bear to only give you half the story on someone I think is really special, so click here to keep reading about Nicole Atkins and watch her video for “Neptune City.”

—- but I have always thought she sounds most like a more baroquely reincarnated Cass Elliot, and she even covers a few Mama Cass songs both live and on her albums. (Click here for a streaming mp3 of “Dream A Little Dream” and here for a video of her singing “Words of Love” live at the Borders in Eatonton, NJ).

This is a wonderfully imaginative and creepy little video for the eponymous single from her LP Neptune City.

Maybe if I paid attention
I could learn to love the landscape I was born to
By the river in the rain
Let it make me new again

Our hearts are singing out just for you
A cemetery song for summer
And if we knew just what we could do
A cemetery song we’d not sing

I’m sitting over Neptune City
I used to love it
It used to be pretty
–“Neptune City,” Nicole Atkins, Neptune City

Here is a better recording in streaming mp3 of that song, I’m not sure why that audio track is the one associated with that video. The end product, the album track, came out way better. More orchestration. Smokier vocals, not quite so hollow. Whatever.

Her favorite director is David Lynch, which only makes me love her more cause he is the only celebrity I ever physically stalked (garbage day? Monday, mothafucka, at least it was in 2002. no joke, I hecka stalked David Lynch after accidentally finding his house…long story). That would kick ass if they worked together one day.

You may have heard this song, it’s thankfully one of her breakouts, that I think first really got her charted and radio played.


I’ve known you like a siren song that warns
I have been informed you could be the death of me

But patience bounds an eternal stone
You were meant to be mine
I draw a dual with the cards of gods
That were played in fate and time

I know we’ll meet again
Maybe tonight
Just tell me where and when
–“Maybe Tonight,” Nicole Atkins, Neptune City.

Finally, I offer a streaming mp3 link to this wonderfully eerie cover of the Hays-Johnson ditty “Blue Christmas,” which is my kidlet’s current favorite song. Actually, this all kind of makes me want to do Mama Cass or maybe Roy Orbison next (let’s see if we can get Barbara Orbison back on the path to suing me, because it’s been too long. I miss you, Babs!). We’ll see, eh?

edit: Holy cheezits, this ran long because I am effed to the moon on cold medicine. Sorry y’all.

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One Response to “Music Moment: Nicole Atkins”

  1. Music Moment — The Song Remains the Same: “Blue Christmas,” cover by Nicole Atkins, NSFW pictures by Ellen Von Unwerth feat. Ana Beatriz Barros « The Thought Experiment Says:

    […] Wanda Jackson and Patsy, even. God, I love her. Possibly related posts: (automatically generated)Music Moment: Nicole AtkinsMusic Moment: The Song Remains the Same, “God Only Knows” edition by wo…It […]

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