Nicole Atkins released the first song from her excellent new record via Paste on Tuesday. "Girl You Look Amazing" is one of 12 fantastic songs that make up the neon noir tour de force of hi-def late-night pop she is calling Slow Phaser, out February 4 on her own Oh'Mercy! Records. The album marks Atkins' most ingenious and indelibly modern collection to date. Bittersweet yet life affirming, Slow Phaser is Nicole Atkins at her confident and unpredictable best - spirited, sexy, and determinedly forward thinking. Atkins will begin touring on this record in February.
"I wanted to make something that no one's ever heard before," she says, "including myself."
On Slow Phaser Atkins collaborated with veteran drummer/producer Jim Sclavunos (Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, The Cramps, Teenage Jesus & The Jerks) and producer Tore Johannson (Franz Ferdinand, The Cardigans) - with whom she partnered on her now-classic 2007 debut,Neptune City. The album was recorded at Johansson's residential Malmö, Sweden studio and with his able assistance, she devised a compelling new sonic approach, melding psychedelic energy, prog rock adventurism, after hours disco ambience, and the raw emotional purity of the finest country soul.
"It sounds large but not cluttered," she says. "We only used four instruments and tracked everything live. Instead of layering on a bunch of strings and horns and bells, the idea was to try to make everything have such complex melodies that they fit together like a puzzle. Every little bit counts."
Atkins stripped her traditional instrumentation to its core - Johansson handled bass duties, joined by The Cardigans' Lars-Olaf Johansson on guitar, keyboardist Martin Gjerstad, and Asbury Park's own Sam Bey behind the drum kit. Inventive and irresistible, Slow Phaserpositively radiates with idiosyncrasy and a palpable sense of fully empowered musical discovery.
The dates for Atkins' headlining tour are below:
13 - New York, NY - Bowery Ballroom
14 - Boston, MA - Brighton Music Hall
17 - Montreal, ONT - Divan Orange
18 - Toronto, ONT - Horseshoe Tavern
19 - Detroit, MI - Magic Stick
21 - Pittsburgh, PA - Club Café
22 - Chicago, IL - Beat Kitchen
23 - Madison, WI - High Noon
25 - St. Paul, MN - Turf Club
1 - Portland, OR - Wonder Ballroom
3 - San Francisco, CA - Slim's
5 - Los Angeles, CA - Bootleg Theatre
6 - San Diego, CA - Soda Bar
8 - Phoenix, AZ - Musical Instrument Museum
12 - Oklahoma City, OK - The Conservatory
13 - 16 - SXSW
17 - Denton, TX - Dan's Silverleaf
21 - Memphis, TN - Hi-Tone
22 - Nashville, TN - High Watt
23 - Atlanta, GA - Terminal West
25 - Charlotte, NC - Evening Muse
26 - Annapolis, MD - Ram's Head
27 - Philadelphia, PA - Johnny Brenda's