Nicole Atkins: Slow Phaser
New Jersey musician Nicole Atkins released her breakthrough album, 2007’s Neptune City via major label Columbia, but her latest release arrives independently on her own label. It’s a better fit for the singer-songwriter, whose last release was 2011’s Mondo Amore, if only because her songs feel so deeply personal. The collection of intimate, amiable indie rock numbers was recorded in Sweden with Tore Johannson, a producer she previously collaborated with on her debut. Unlike many singer-songwriters Atkins sounds happy on the majority of the tracks, embracing a cheeky, welcoming mood on songs like the breezy “Cool People” and ballad-esque “The Worst Hangover.” Atkins seems liberated and genuinely enthusiastic about her music, which is a feeling that translates to the listener.