Album of the Week: Neko Case, 'Hell-On'

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Neko Case, 'Hell-On'
Neko Case, 'Hell-On' (Courtesy of artist)
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I want to start by saying the first single from 'Hell-On' that we've been playing on The Current "Bad Luck" is my favorite song right now. I love the production, I love the lyrics, and of course, I love the layered vocals. Case's voice sounds fantastic. I read an interview that Neko Case did with NPR, where she talked about how she had to cut the vocal for "Bad Luck" the morning she found out that her house burned down. Wow, talk about bad luck. So, that song wasn't written in reaction to her home burning to the ground, it was written and ready long before the fire, but the impact of the fire is forever a part of her vocal performance on the song.

Neko Case was out of the country when a fire took her home, in fact, she was in Sweden to make 'Hell-On'. And if there's any kind of theme to this record, outside of the subject matter of the lyrics, it's collaboration. She enlisted the co-producing help of musician/producer Bjorn Yttling of the indie group Peter, Bjorn and John. And there are guest appearances from several of her musician friends, to write or lend vocals. To name a few: bandmate A.C. Newman of The New Pornographers, Case/Lang/Veirs collaborator Laura Veirs, Eric Bachmann of Crooked Fingers (to cover a Crooked Fingers track), Seattle grunge/alt rock staple Mark Lanegan, Beth Ditto, and others.

Neko Case has such a strong and distinct singing voice, and her voice as a songwriter and producer has made for another strong album. The production is gorgeous; filled with such a warm fullness and richness. The layering of vocals with backup vocals is mixed with the musical arrangements in such a complimentary way. 'Hell-On' is out now and Neko Case is on tour to promote it and we look forward her Twin Cities stop at The Palace Theatre on September 6th.

Resources

Neko Case - Official Site

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