Nikki & the Phantom Callers
Atlanta’s Nikki & the Phantom Callers are a jangling country-tinged indie-rock outfit with one boot heel planted firmly in retro 1960s sounds and the other in the now. Leader Nikki Speake—also a member of garage power trio Midnight Larks and all-girl psych rockers Shantih Shantih—grew up singing at church in smalltown Alabama, Dadeville to be exact. She was writing her own songs by age 16 and fronted punk and country bands during college. Since then, Speake has shared bills with Shooter Jennings, Joshua Hedley, Shannon and the Clams, L.A. Witch, The Legendary Shack Shakers, King Khan & the Shrines, Tav Falco, Lee Bains III & the Glory Fires, Banditos, and Lydia Loveless. Speake has played in front of thousands at major Southeastern festivals such as Project Pabst, 420 Fest, Muddy Roots and Music Midtown.
Nikki & the Phantom Callers were named Creative Loafing Atlanta’s “Best Country Band of 2018” and their first release, a new 7-inch single “Prodigal Daughter” / “Mamas Should Know” gained glowing national reviews from the likes of Cowboys & Indians Magazine, PopMatters and Wide Open Country. The band features Aaron Mason on lead guitar, Russell Owens on drums, and Speake’s Shantih Shantih bandmate Anna Kramer—also of Anna Kramer & The Lost Cause and, most recently, newly resurrected Merge Records band The Rock*A*Teens—on bass & backing vocals. Speake and Kramer’s voices are front and center, calling to mind artists like Alvvays, Best Coast, and especially Neko Case singing in lockstep with her longtime backup singer, former Rock*A*Teen Kelly Hogan.