Nicole Atkins – “Vultures”

After settling a bidding war over her debut full-length by joining Rick Rubin’s Columbia Records, releasing the Neptune City LP in 2007 and a covers EP (Nicole Atkins Digs Other People’s Songs) the following year, Nicole Atkins is readying a new release, on a new label (Razor & Tie), that splits the difference between her previous two: it’s a 7″ featuring a new original, “Vultures,” backed with a cover, of Can’s “Vitamin C.” In the past few years we’ve seen a lot of Nicole as an auxiliary player in some higher profile Canadian-oriented indie-pop moments, like Feist’s white-clad indie choir for her “1234” performance on Letterman, or guest vocals on record (and on Letterman) with A.C. Newman. It’s nice to see her back in Brooklyn, focusing on her own again.

Nicole’s on record describing her sound as “pop-noir,”which certainly fits “Vultures” and its passionately dark, bleak but not without heart mood. As always it’s her sometimes gritty, often soaring vocal that’s anchoring the track, but she’s pushed ably by her backing band the Black Sea, great snare sound through the hollowed verse, lush, choral vocal arrangements and twisted, bluesy lift through the hook and transitional passages. Have a listen, download, etc.:

Nicole Atkins – “Vultures”

Download it for the price of an email over at the newly redesigned The “Vultures” 7″ b/w the “Vitamin C” cover is out tomorrow via Razor &  Tie.

As an aside, I recently learned an interview I did with Nicole back in 2006, which I sought out after being impressed by a few of her sets at various listening rooms around the LES that year, was in fact her first proper Q&A, ever. Very surprising, since she seemed far more able to discuss her vision for her work than folks I’d known who’d been doing it, and doing press, for far longer. Years later, still impressed, and that vision is becoming clearer.

She’s hitting the road with the Black Keys, here are those dates:

09/25 – San Diego, CA @ Soma*
09/27 – Los Angeles, CA @ Hollywood Palladium*
09/28 – Los Angeles, CA @ Hollywood Palladium*
09/29 – Oakland, CA @ Fox Theater*
09/30 – Oakland, CA @ Fox Theater*
10/02 – Seattle, WA @ Paramount Theater*
10/03 – Vancouver, BC @ Orpheum*
10/04 – Portland, OR @ Crystal Ballroom*
10/05 – Portland, OR @ Crystal Ballroom*
10/07 – Salt Lake City, UT @ Urban Lounge
10/08 – Denver, CO @ Larimer Lounge
10/10 – Tulsa, OK @ Cain’s Ballroom*
10/12 – Santa Fe, NM @ Warehouse 21
10/14 – San Diego, CA @ Bar Pink
10/15 – Echo Park, CA @ Echo

*with Black Keys