This text was initially revealed in 2015 and has been up to date.
Welcome to Dissected, the place we disassemble a band’s catalog, a director’s filmography, or another crucial pop-culture assortment within the summary. It’s actual science by manner of some beers. This time, we kind by way of the perfect and worst of the at-times New Pornographer.
Of all of the artists who started the brand new millennium straddling the alt-country world and indie-rock stardom, none have proved themselves extra proficient or hardworking than Neko Case. Born in Virginia, she grew up in Tacoma, Washington, the place she started her musical profession drumming in a handful of bands earlier than shifting to Vancouver in 1994. She furthered her musical profession enjoying drums for Canadian twee pop group Cub and singing for the punk band Maow within the mid ‘90s earlier than forming her personal band with 1997’s The Virginian beneath the identify Neko Case & Her Boyfriends.
Case would drop the band identify for her later recordings, however at all times labored carefully with collaborators, whether or not by way of her excursions with Carolyn Mark as The Corn Sisters or her years writing and enjoying with Toronto band The Sadies. Her most notable collaboration is the time she’s spent as a member of The New Pornographers, a band which she nonetheless participates in actively to today, discovering time in between writing, recording, and touring behind her seven studio albums and a number of reside information.
A part of what makes Case such an intriguing artist is her penchant for storytelling. Early in her profession, she was regularly in comparison with legends like Loretta Lynn and Patsy Cline, crafting hard-luck tales about individuals dwelling in America’s heartland, lifting the spirit of nation music and delivering it to an viewers who typically averted the style. Case wrote all her songs with a lived-in strategy, giving her characters company and sympathy whereas mentioning locations and cities particular sufficient to make her tales really feel actual and relatable. Some have been about love and loss, however many have been centered on anger, with Case drawing affect from artists like The Louvin Brothers to place collectively her personal variations of homicide ballads.
Case has additionally been an outspoken and humorous artist, be it throughout her banter between songs at concert events or by way of her intelligent wit absolutely on show all through her work. She habitually subverts gender norms and stereotypes about sexuality, at all times writing songs and forging her path ahead on her personal phrases.
Whereas Case’s music has shifted step by step and notably over the previous 25 years, a part of what makes her discography so inviting is how constant it’s by way of high quality. As fond as we’re of rating an artist’s work, right here we’re much more involved in offering an in-depth look, specializing in the individuals and locations that form her story, how she challenges typical considering in her songs, the artists she attracts inspiration from, and the buddies she works with.
— David Sackllah