When we fell completely in love with the grand Lynchian bluesy pop sound of Nicole Atkins’ “Red Ropes” (our favourite track of 2013), we knew immediately that this was someone special. When we saw her play a solo live set a few nights later, we knew with absolute certainty that we were right. What we hadn’t appreciated though, was how funky she could get. Now we’ve heard “Girl You Look Amazing”, there’s no doubting her prowess there either.
Taken from her latest album, Slow Phaser (out in the States already, it gets a UK release at the end of April), “Girl You Look Amazing” is, well, amazing. She says that the song came to her in a dream, being sung by David Byrne in a big dance club and clearly dreams come true (except the David Byrne bit) as there is a glorious nightclub, disco vibe to it.
As the bassline struts along and the guitar jangles like a film noir Nile Rogers (oh yes, there is still some darkness here, but we’ll get to that) you are invited to put on your glad rags, oil up those joints and get your groove on. An infectious and danceable beat behoves your attention and your shoulders, feet and hips will not be able to resist. It’s cutting choreographed shapes on an illuminated dancefloor, it’s busting moves in the centre of an enthusiastic crowd, swinging arms, rolling shoulders, bouncing feet and clapping hands. It’s fantastically compulsive; just the kind of song to get you funny looks from fellow travellers as you vibe along on the train. Trust us, we know.
But yes, there is darkness here too, a shadow cast over the discotheque that is imperceptible to all but this amazing looking girl. For, as glorious and bright, as infectious and funky as it sounds, it hides a secret. As Nicole has explained, it’s actually about a girl whose life is a mess. She has got s caught up in the party that she now uses it to hide from the real world. She’s missed so much in her life giving it all to the clubs and glitzy events that she can’t go back and she never never never wants to go home.
Take a watch of the video for a brilliantly tongue in cheek look at exactly what it is she is missing.
”Girl You Look Amazing” will be released on 5 May and ‘Slow Phaser’ gets its UK release on 28 April.