Clearwater Artist of the Day: Neko Case
Neko Case (photo by Emily Shur, courtesy of Anti- Records).
There is no other voice that sounds like Neko Case's voice. It is clear and rich, ringing out to the outer stratosphere, while simultaneously sounding earthy, elemental, and wild. Her lyrics vary from stories to dreams, aligning to repeated themes of nature and the animal kingdom.
It's hard to imagine that she once sat behind a drum kit. But that is where this big voice sat and played in punk bands, as a teenager, and during her art school days in Vancouver. Born in Virginia, Case moved around quite a bit as a child and left home at 15. She landed in Vancouver to attend the Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design. After graduating, she moved to Seattle, but not without leaving something behind in Canada: she recorded a few songs with The New Pornographers for the band's debut and eventual surprise hit album, Mass Romantic, which would be released in 2000. That first step led to a longterm membership in that band.
Meanwhile, Case was venturing out on her own too, paying homage to her roots with her 1997 solo debut, The Virginian, backed by her accompanying band called Her Boyfriends. Furnace Room Lullaby followed in 2000 and thereafter, Case made a career of balancing her own solo journey with that of The New Pornographers, along with a side tangent in the duo The Corn Sisters. Neko is a three time Grammy-nominated solo artist, with six studio albums (most recently releasing 2013's The Worse Things Get, The Harder I Fight, The Harder I Fight, The More I Love You), two live albums, and an EP.
Whether you go to Clearwater this weekend, or listen in on WFUV, Neko Case is one not to miss. We’re not only looking forward to a breathtaking performance from Case and her incredible band, but also what's become a trademark of her riveting live shows: Case's always entertaining, and at times hilarious, stage banter with longtime backing vocalist Kelly Hogan.
For more about the Clearwater Hudson River Revival, visit clearwaterfestival.org.