Jersey Native Nicole Atkins: "Every Place That We Grew Up Going To Is Just Ripped Apart Or Gone."
"It's weird; I keep thinking about 'Neptune City,' and it seems really, really creepy now," she says. Given the lyrics --"I used to love it/ It used to be pretty /I'll come down, walk around awhile/ Until I'm sure I can never go home again"-- it's easy to see why. Still, its eerily appropriate with its pervasive melancholy and spectral airs, and Atkins is looking forward to repurposing the hit for the sake of Shark River Hills. "I talked to Columbia, and they're going to let me re-record the song, and all of the proceeds from the downloads are going to go to the relief efforts in my town."
Atkins supports Rebuild Recover, a fundraising effort helmed by local nonprofit Move for Hunger and Sounds To Go, a DJ and entertainment services company. She's also working on coordinating some PSAs for Rebuild Recover that feature other recording artists, including Mick Fleetwood and longtime friend Seth Avett of the Avett Brothers. The Avetts Brothers, who were college friends of Atkins', crashed frequently at her parents' house, as she booked their New York and New Jersey dates for years. "I spoke briefly with them [about the storm]," she said, "and they were like, 'Aw, man! The couch! Did the couch get ruined?!' The couch downstairs at my parents' house is epic; so many bands have slept on it."
Though the devastation extends far beyond her family's living room and the decimated streets of the cities that have shaped her, Atkins is heading back east to do what she can to bring comfort and strength to Shark River Hills, Neptune City and the other towns of the Jersey Shore that she proudly calls home. And not only is she going home again, to "Neptune City"-- she's going home, and she's going to help rebuild it.