For many years, Neko Case has been translating different strains of American roots music into something warm and thoughtful and personal, using it to showcase her luxurious blended-whiskey wail. It’s now been five years since the release of The Worse Things Get, The Harder I Fight, The Harder I Fight, The More I Love You, though she’s kept herself plenty busy with the trio case/lang/veirs and with her contributions to what the New Pornographers have been doing. And next week, she’ll finally return with the lush and gorgeous album Hell-On.
This time around, Case has been recording with a whole lot of her peers from across the indie rock universe. The new album features contributions from people like Gossip’s Beth Ditto and fellow Pacific Northwest survivor Mark Lanegan, the latter of whom lends his wizened voice to the absolutely shattering album centerpiece “Curse Of The I-5 Corridor.” Case’s New Pornographers bandleader A.C. Newman is in there as well, as are regular collaborators like the alt-country singer Kelly Hogan and the former Archers Of Loaf leader Eric Bachmann. Case and Bachmann even duet on a cover of Bachmann’s 2005 Crooked Fingers song “Sleep All Summer.”
It’s a sweeping, lovely album, another example of what Case has done so well for so long. Besides “Curse Of The I-5 Corridor,” we’ve posted the title track and “Bad Luck.” And right now, you can stream the whole album at NPR.
Hell-On is out 6/1 on Anti-.