Amy Allison gave me the tip on Nicole Atkins when she discovered her via an American Express ad of all things. So far, as far as I'm aware, it hasn't done what ipod did for Feist but if you give "Neptune City" some house room then prepare to be swept out to sea. It's quite an old-fashioned orchestral pop record with some Badalamentiesque overtones in terms of brooding twang. "The Way It Is" is worth the price of entry to this fictional boardwalk wonderland alone.
Turns out that these 10 songs were recorded in Sweden and it certainly has that Scandanavian majesty. Layers of lush, textural arrangements with Atkins great, great voice soaring over the whole shebang. Somebody at Columbia needs to be thinking about getting her on to "Later with Jools Holland" with all the trimmings. Check out this Letterman appearance if you reckon I'm joshing.
"Cool Enough" has a ghostly refrain of The Crying Shames "Please Stay" (see below) about it. The line about "one day I'll feel different" in particular with the backing vocals, recalls that Joe Meek nugget. There's some great sleigh bell fairy dust sprinkled here and there also but be warned, this is a hardy perennial that'll linger way beyond even next Christmas. Much more consistent than Bernard Butler's Duffy project, I hope that Nicole will be bringing these songs to the UK as early in 2008 as the strategy allows.