Nicole Atkins – Mondo Amore

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Nicole Atkins is a singer songwriter who grew up in Neptune, NJ.  I lived in the area when I first heard her music back in 2007 – a little song called Neptune City.  Something about the song just grabbed me immediately – something about the way she connected with her hometown and was able to put into words the changes that have taken place over the years.  There was intense nostalgia in her music.  Soon, I was hooked – got several chances to see her live, photograph her shows and meet her in person.  The performances were always amazing, her voice is ridiculous and her band had great stage presence.  I love to support local talented artists, so I quickly became one of her biggest fans, even attended one show while battling the flu, and emailed Perez Hilton until her music was featured on his site.

“When the light finally dies, I’ll know the answer to why they call the dawn mourning, wish I could’ve told you goodbye”

After a few years of touring, Nicole’s new album, Mondo Amore, was released on February 8th.  I was able to attend her record release party at Vintage Vinyl in NJ where Nicole and her guitarist Irina performed a breathtaking acoustic set – I literally got chills several times.  Here is a video of the girls performing a song called The Tower off of the new record.

As far as the album itself – it’s ten songs that take you on a journey of Nicole’s tumultous last year or so – she went through a breakup, got dropped by her label, and had to find a new band.  She pours her all into the music and one can’t help but feel what she’s feeling right along with her.  The songs are timeless and about love and loss and surviving it all.  The music is once again a dark and haunting waltz at times, and yet each song has a life of its own.  Lyrics like “I gave my breath so I could suffocate your fire… you were the devil and now i’m turning into you” are intertwined with a beautiful melody reminiscent of 60’s psychedelic rock.  One of my favorite songs is “My Baby Don’t Lie” which has a country, folksy, old-timey feel to it that is so different from everything else on the record.

Nicole and her band, The Black Sea, put on a great show on February 9th at Bowery Ballroom in NYC to kick off their spring tour.  They will be in the area again March 10th (Philadelphia) and 13th (Hoboken  NJ), and I’d highly recommend coming out and seeing this band live.

If you haven’t picked up this album yet, do yourself a favor and get it today!  Available now on iTunes, Zune, and Amazon.  And don’t forget to “Like” her on Facebook!

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