Sunday, January 28, 2007


ALBUM: Bleeding Diamonds
FILE UNDER: Psychedelic / Alternative / Folk Rock
LABEL: Columbia Records

INFO: The sound of Nicole Atkins' Bleeding Diamonds EP, which serves as a handy introduction to her upcoming, feature-length Columbia Records debut, is like the opening scene to one of her favorite directors David Lynch's Blue Velvet. Underneath the sunny blue skies, immaculately manicured suburban homes and their bright green lawns lies a forbidding black hole of danger, violence and death.

That is the world described by this 27-year-old singer/songwriter from Neptune, a New Jersey shore town just down the coastline from Asbury Park, where she grew up in an idyllic childhood, teaching herself to play a Grateful Dead song on the guitar she found in the attic once owned by an uncle who died when he was 13. Her father turned her on to blues artists like Jimmy Reed, allowing Nicole to sit in on sessions with local musician friends. She played for three years with the North Carolina alt-country band Los Parasols before making a name for herself as a solo performer on New York City's anti-folk scene.

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