#5 Nicole Atkins – Slow Phaser
Our fifth favourite album of 2014 is one that contains our favourite song of 2013. “Red Ropes” features on Nicole Atkins third album, Slow Phaser and while it remains a standout, the rest of the record is still fantastic. Being the exact right length for our walk to work, Slow Phaser got a lot of repeat play earlier this year but it was more than just duration that kept bringing us back. There is so much on offer that you will want to pour over it, devour and savour each morsel of this musical feast.
There are styles aplenty, themes and emotions a go go but most of all, throughout the entire album there is an overwhelming sense of creativity, of imagination and of deep shadowy undercurrents. Woven within each aspect there is always sadness, heartache, melancholy and despair. Even on lead single “Girl You Look Amazing”, which is a disco fuelled dance floor filling lightshow of a song, there is the sadness of a wasted life laid bare for all to see.
There’s pop music, indie, folk, disco, a show tune and even a hymn of sorts; each one sounding as confident and as accomplished as the last. It’s quality songwriting, musicianship and storytelling. It’s dark and twisted, light and breezy and mesmeric. It’s Nicole at her best and is well worth listening to again and again and again.