‘War Torn,’ Nicole Atkins

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Nicole Atkins with David Letterman on the Friday night broadcast of “Late Show With David Letterman.”

“I wanna tell you something,” said David Letterman after Nicole Atkins performed “War Torn” on his talk show, Friday. “If you’re not gonna do this, don’t bother doing it! You understand what I’m saying? That was fantastic!”

Check out what inspired the gushing in the clip below. I assume Letterman — who is not easily impressed — was reacting not only by the intensity of Atkins’ performance, but also to the wild instrumental interlude at the 2:45 mark, in which& Atkins uses vocal effects to help create a maelstrom of sound.

Atkins — originally from Neptune, and closely associated with the Asbury Park music scene —actually taped the performance on Thursday, then watched it with her fans after performing at the Langosta Lounge in Asbury Park, Friday night.

“War Torn” is from Atkins’ 2007 debut album, Neptune City, though it is also one of the eight live tracks that appear on the deluxe edition of her 2014 album, Slow Phaser.

New Jersey celebrated its 350th birthday from Sept. 2014 to Sept. 2015. And in the 350 Jersey Songs series, we marked the occasion by posting 350 songs — one a day, for almost a year — that have something to do with the state, its musical history, or both. The complete list is here.

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