Nicole Atkins plays the Beachland on Tuesday.
plays lush dream-pop that cribs inspiration from at least three different decades. The most obvious influence is Roy Orbison, whose orchestral, operatic ballads in the early ’60s still rank among pop’s all-time greatest. But Atkins’ debut album, Neptune City
, also contains elements of David Lynch’s soundtracks, 1970s British rockers, and contemporary indie-pop.
Atkins, a New Jersey native, builds her first CD around a gotta-break-free concept that recalls homey Bruce Springsteen’s Born to Run
. Both albums set their songs in the swamps of Jersey. Both artists nod to the past both musically and personally. And both artists dig Orbison (remember the Boss’ shout-out in “Thunder Road”?). Neptune City
is certainly a studio product – all the bells and whistles give it a gorgeous sheen. But Atkins pulls it off live, too. -- Michael Gallucci
Nicole Atkins performs at 9 p.m. Tuesday, February 19, at the Beachland Tavern, 15711 Waterloo Road. Tickets are $8. Call 216-383-1124 for more information. For a preview, listen to “Maybe Tonight” below.