Ever since the 2009 breakup of RBD, fans have been clamoring for a Maite Perroni…
- Posted on Jan 26th 2011 12:00PM by Karen Bliss
Gary Wolstenholme, Redferns
The New Jersey singer-songwriter behind 2007's 'Neptune City' was hired a few years ago to sing backup for Feist on 'Late Show With David Letterman,' which led to a significant Canadian connection. Feist recruited a 15-piece choir for her Indie-Rock All-Stars, comprised of members of Broken Social Scene, the New Pornographers, Grizzly Bear and the National.
"I think [Feist] knew a couple of the guys from the National," Atkins says of the Brooklyn, NY-based band with whom she shares management. "Her manager called my manager to get the National to sing in the choir, and then her manager was like, 'Oh, you work with Nicole, too. You should get her, too.' So I did it and it was really fun. It was like band camp."
Atkins didn't know anybody there, but ended up talking with Vancouver-born Carl Newman of New Pornographers, who also goes by A.C. Newman for his solo project, along with his wife, Christy Simpson, from Matador Records.
"Afterwards, we all went and did rock 'n' roll trivia and I was on Carl's team, so of course we won because he knew everything," Atkins laughs.
"A few years later, he was making his solo record [2009's 'Get Guilty'] and Christy called me and asked me to sing all the backups on it. After that -- I think it was around the first time my boyfriend and I broke up -- I ended going on tour singing backup with Carl just to get out of town for a bit, and Phil [Palazzolo] was producing Carl's record and recording it."
Atkins actually joined Newman again on 'Letterman,' this time to perform one of his solo songs.
It was around this time, having trouble with her relationship and her record company, Columbia, that Atkins found herself in a funk. Eventually, she broke up with her boyfriend, got out of her record deal, and moved back to her parents place in Jersey.
"I have lots of friends that are super-talented, and they can't even get a gig. So that's why, when everything went quiet for a little while, I was like, 'But I just did all this stuff with the last record and, to me, it went really well. I just don't understand,'" she recalls. "And then I didn't know how I was gonna make the [new] record.
"I didn't have much money and Phil, who worked on the last Neko Case and New Pornographers, he was just like, 'Just come over to the studio and let's just get this going. Let's just start.' And I was like 'Well, how?' and he was like 'It doesn't matter how. We'll figure it out later.'"
And with that, Atkins was back in Brooklyn, co-producing what became her new album, 'Mondo Amore,' with Palazzolo. He may not be Canadian, but if it wasn't for Feist, she might still be in her parents' house wondering what to do next.
"It almost seems crazy that it actually is coming out," she laughs, happy to be heading out on the road in Feburary in support of the release.