by Ian Whalen
When I was in high school I would often find myself driving around town listening to KDHX, the local community radio station in Saint Louis, Missouri. They would play anything and everything you could possibly imagine. However one chilly morning in March stands out to me as the most memorable.
I was driving to school and a song started to play, the voice singing from my car speakers was as hypnotizing as a Siren, cutting though the misty morning air. I listened closely and with great attention to the lyrics and found them to be intensely captivating. The song ended and the DJ announced that Neko Case had just released her latest album called Middle Cyclone. I committed this information to memory and when I got home from school that day I downloaded the album immediately.
It wasn’t too far after I was initially exposed to Neko’s music that I found myself buying the rest of her discography and really appreciating her masterful story telling and lyrical imagery she uses in all of her songs. I found myself spreading the word to all I knew to check out this album and it became quite popular amongst my friends and family.
Following her latest release, The Worst Things Get, The Harder I fight, The Harder I Fight, The More I Love You in 2013, my appreciation for her as an artist grew immensely. I remember reading interviews about this album and how candidly she spoke about her recent struggle with depression. The music on this album really spoke to me and I think it speaks to many other people who suffer from depression at any point in their life. Her lyrical prowess is really present on this album. I think of songs like Where Did I Leave that Fire and Night Still Comes as two tracks that really stood out to me.
If you have never given Neko Case’s music a listen I would suggest you start from the beginning and just follow her transformation from a country inspired songstress to an alt-county/eclectic musical powerhouse.
It will be my 5th time seeing Neko Case live when she preforms at The Lyric on September 27th to benefit the Sarah Isom Center. I encourage everyone to go and see Neko perform live. Every time has been an incredible experience and her personality really shines at her live performances. If you go you should especially look forward to her cheeky banter with Kelly Hogan, her long time back up singer (who is also performing during Sarahfest 2015, you should check her solo work out too!), in between songs.
It isn’t too often that Oxford is able to draw a performer of this caliber, so take advantage of this opportunity to not only see a great concert but also one that will benefit the Sarah Isom Center.
The Essential Neko Case:
- Where Did I leave That Fire: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UxW6A892M8g
- Night Still Comes: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qhnFl3Y2FVI
- Prison Girls: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0sLNVRIndYI
- The Pharaohs: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wzX8btHwJDs
- Star Witness: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xFedf-rVUwk
- John Saw That Number: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=foqUchQZa1o
- Lady Pilot: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nPTzGHOBW2A
- I Wish I Was The Moon Tonight: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vRHABC489SI
- Furnace Room Lullaby: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DEpCykXVPuM
- Porchlight: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DEpCykXVPuM
- Knock Loud: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qeQi_6kAkG4
- Favorite: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1DP6nr9ucQM
About Ian Whalen: