Nicole Atkins was raised on the Jersey Shore, and she started to write original music while attending UNC Charlotte. Upon graduation, she headed to NYC—settling in Brooklyn— and performing wherever and whenever she could. Eventually she moved back to North Carolina before resettling in Jersey. But all along she continued honing her exceptional songwriting, which has become her calling card (along with some delightfully throaty vocals). For her third album, Atkins (above, doing “Heavy Boots” at Bonnaroo) returned to the coastal Swedish town where she’d recorded her acclaimed debut, Neptune City (stream it below), to work on the recently released Slow Phaser (stream it below). About which AllMusic says Atkins “seems to be in the driver’s seat and completely in control of her destiny, delivering her most artistic and confident album to date.” So go see her play The Bowery Ballroom tomorrow night.