Neko Case has kept plenty busy in recent years, releasing both her collaboration with k.d. lang and Laura Veirs, case/lang/veirs, in 2016, and the New Pornographers’ great 2017 album Whiteout Conditions. But it’s also been four and a half years since her last solo outing, 2013’s The Worse Things Get, The Harder I Fight, The Harder I Fight, The More I Love You. Now the the wait’s coming to a close, with Case’s seventh album Hell-On on its way this summer.
The album was officially announced a month ago, accompanied by its lead single/title track and the unveiling of some very memorable cover art. Today, Case is back with another new one called “Bad Luck.” The song came towards the end of recording Hell-On, when Case received a call in the middle of the night that her barn and house were burning down.
The next morning, Case returned to the studio in Stockholm and recorded the vocals for “Bad Luck,” revisiting lines she had written a while beforehand but that had taken on a new resonance. She lists a series of tongue-in-cheek events resulting from the titular affliction — such as “Chipped my tooth on an engagement ring” — before concluding “It’s not as bad as I thought it would be / But it’s still pretty bad luck.” Contrary to what you might expect, though, “Bad Luck” is a bright, hook-y, uptempo track. It might’ve come out of a ruinous life event, but the song ends with an image of renewal through destruction: “So I died and went to work,” she sings in the final refrain. Check it out below.
Hell-On is out 6/1 via Anti-.