Who ever knew Amy Winehouse had an equally gifted older sister? Nicole Atkins might not be as spunky and raw as La Winehouse, but she most definitely has an old soul and vibe that is reminiscent of our favorite British booze girl.
Have a listen to the track "The Way It Is" that is pretty good. It doesn't have that kick that Winehouse's vocals brings to her music or that hot-as-hell swagger that producer Mark Ronson cranks out, but it is a worthy one to add to your music collection.
Atkins, 27, was born in the idyllic town of Neptune, New Jersey just down the coastline from Ashbury Park. Her music career started when she picked up a guitar as a child to play a Grateful Dead song. Her father introduced her to blues artists like Jimmy Reed and let her sit in on sessions with local musician friends. In her late teens, she moved to Norh Carolina to play with alt-country band Los Parasols before making a name for herself as a solo performer on New York City's anti-folk scene.
Inspired by artists like Patsy Cline, Lou Reed and The Smiths, Atkins' songwriting on her forthcoming debut is inspired by both her upbringing as well as world affairs, such as the war in the Middle East. "I'm not a political songwriter, but you can't help write about things that are happening to you and around you," she says in a statement. (A special shout out to my peeps at Sony Music who for the first time ever agreed to make a guilt-free download available on this blog. It is a little miracle.)
Download Nicole Atkins "The Way It Is" [MP3]