On the just released Slow Phaser, New Jersey musician Nicole Atkins sings with a strength and control that has been conspicuously absent in rock music. It’s a punch to the face and with any luck, every disc jockey in America will feel it’s sting.
"Girl You Look Amazing," is the lead single off of Slow Phaser, and it has the type of bass line that leads to two thoughts:
1. I hope I don't blow my speakers.
2. Well this has got to be the best song on the album...I really hope the rest of the songs don't suck.
Great news. While "Girl You Look Amazing," is a fantastic, instant earworm song, the rest of Slow Phaser is more than worth your time. The storied arrangements and pure vitality present on tracks like "It's Only Chemistry," "Cool People," and "Gasoline Bride," put everything on the FM station to shame. Speaking about the brighter sounds, Atkins has said that she wanted to"make something that no one's heard before, including myself."
Touring and recording since the early 2000s, Atkins is somewhat of an industry veteran, albeit a young one. Her music has been described as everything from psychedelic rock to folk, and it is this very eagerness to create a vast tapestry of sound that has earned her a loyal following. No matter what style of music she is experimenting with, her writing is reminiscent of another time, and not because it is a retread of things that have been done before. The music of Nicole Atkins harkens back to a golden age in popular music when the standards were higher and the artists were cleverer. The infectious Slow Phaser has only continued her journey of self-discovery as an artist, and there is a joyousness and color to the songs that is instantly memorable. Acknowledging the changing musical tastes that feature prominently on the new album, she has said, “It’s taken me a while to figure out who I really am. Musically, and as a person. It’s constantly changing. I’m not just this one character. I’m an artistic person trying to figure shit out."
Over ten years into a career that has seen the release of four EPs and three albums, Atkins has made her best album yet...and she may have found herself while making it.