New Nicole Atkins – “The Way It Is”

We’ve been tracking the nostalgic pop stylings of Nicole Atkins since her set opening the infamous Clap Your Hands Say Yeah/The National show at Bowery in September ’05. Now, months after a label bidding war and countless hours in a Swedish studio working on her proper debut Neptune City, Nic’s revealed the first track from the record, “The Way It Is” — and we’re glad to say it’s her best songwriting yet, working her soaring vocal and blue mood into a dreamy, slowly-surging ’50s-styled girl-group ballad. Bodes well for the record. Hear it at MySpace.

[Pic from Nicole Atkins & The Sea’s show 7/14/06 @ Bowery Ballroom.]

SXSWers can catch Nicole’s showcase gig on 3/16 (at Copa, w/Au Revoir Simone) and at parties on 3/14 and 3/16.

Neptune City is out 6/26 on Columbia.