I picked up this Starbucks card ‘song of the week’ a little while ago, and I hadn’t had time to listen to it yet. Neko Case’s ‘Night Still Comes’,… I have heard about her for years but never really got into her music, still she is one of these artists who drains a large cult following and she was in the New Pornographers.
The song comes from her sixth studio album, which has a sort of Fiona-Apple-esque title (I mean by that it’s very long),’ The Worse Things Get, The Harder I Fight, The Harder I Fight, The More I Love You’. Listening to the song, I wonder if Case still qualifies for alt-country, or folk, or whatever you want, she seems to have her own style, a lot of personality, and these dark, cryptic and metaphorical lyrics are so uncommon, ‘Did it poison my food?/Is it ’cause I’m a girl?/If I puked up some sonnets would you call me a miracle?/I’m gonna go where my urge leads no more/Swallowed waist-deep in the core of the forest/Arboreal feast’.
Nobody can really guess what’s going on there, but it sure doesn’t seem too pleasant, it’s unsettling even though we don’t know whether she is the victim or the threat… the music navigates between the obscure and these uplifting choruses ‘You never held it at the right angle’, with her strong voice, pronouncing every syllable of every word with the same clarity, in order to never get swallowed by the night that the song seems so afraid of. It’s a slow and spacious night song, not disturbing enough to keep you awake, not lullaby-like enough to make asleep, with a few eruptions in these choruses even though they turn soon into velvety and sweet ‘catch a, catch a, catch a, catch a falling star’.
Neko Case hadn’t released an album since her 2009 ‘Middle Cyclone’, but she has very good excuses, she sunk into depression after the loss of her grandmother and two parents. She said in a interview to the Guardian how painful it was : ‘It was physically debilitating. You’re just in this murk. And you’re with other humans but you lose all your human skills and it’s just like you’re in this plastic bag and you can’t quite connect with people.’ It seems that this darkness is behind herself, and Neko Case has found her right angle.
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