Neko Case is an American singer-songwriter. Better known as a member of the Canadian Indie rock group, 'The New Pornographers', Neko Case has built a career with her distinctive style and musical versatility. She is famous for her characteristic voice that appears rugged and evoking. Though she didn’t belong to a musical family, she showed her musical ability from a very young age. Initially, she identified herself as a local punk rock girl and became a member of a band. She also exhibited her talent in playing drums in several local bands such as, the Del Logs, the Propanes, the Weasels, Cub, and Maow. Gradually, she went on to create her solo album with a collection of originals and covers and also dabbled in popular genres like country music. Thereafter, she recorded her famous album, 'Furnace Room Lullaby' with a band that gained fame as 'Neko Case & Her Boyfriends'. Soon, Case learned to play a four-string guitar and was successful in releasing a live recording with the guitarist, Carolyn Mark under the signature, ‘The Corn Sisters’. Eventually, she started writing songs for her albums which gained great popularity.
Childhood & Early Life
Neko Case was born on 8 September 1970, in Alexandria, Virginia, to Diana Mary Dubbs and James Bamford Case. While she was young, her family moved to Tacoma, Washington.
When Case was born, her parents were teenagers and were not ready for parenthood. She was not aborted since her father was a Christian.
Her childhood was spent in isolation. She liked singing songs to her pet dogs. She also liked to draw pictures.
Her parents divorced when she was just five or six years of age. Afterwards, she sometimes stayed with her father, and sometimes with her mother and stepfather.
At the budding age of 15, she left home and her parents. In 1994, she moved to Vancouver, British Columbia. There she took admission at the Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design to study arts.
While attending the art school, she joined several local bands (like Cub and Maow) and played drums. She completed her graduation with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree.
Continue Reading Below
You May Like
In 1997, she released her debut solo album, ‘The Virginian’ and the next year, she recorded a few songs for the album, ‘Mass Romantic’ which was ‘The New Pornographers' first album. Some of her songs including "Letter from an Occupant" are power-pop performances.
Her second solo album, ‘Furnace Room Lullaby’ was released on February 22, 2000. She released the album, ‘Mass Romantic’, the same year, on November 28, which became a huge success.
In 2001, she recorded an Extended Play (EP) known as 'Canadian Amp'. Her recording featured works of Canadian songwriters, along with a Hank Williams cover, a traditional folk song, and her two original songs.
In 2002, the third album, ‘Blacklisted’ was released. The album was rated 141st out of top 200 albums in an online music magazine, ‘Pitchfork Media’.
On August 9, 2003, she recorded a live album, ‘Live from Austin, TX’ for the Austin City Limits Television series. ‘Live from Austin, TX’ was first broadcasted on Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) on November 8, 2003.
In 2004, she released a live album, ‘The Tigers Have Spoken’. The album was recorded at three live shows, one in Chicago and later two shows in Toronto during the spring season. The album comprises a beautiful blend of her originals and cover songs like The Shangri-La's ‘The Train From Kansas City’ and Loretta Lynn's ‘Rated X’.
In 2005, she released ‘The New Pornographers' third album, ‘Twin Cinema’ that was shortlisted for the next year’s Polaris Music Prize.
Thereafter, the ‘Live from Austin, TX’ was released on DVD in 2006 and consequently appeared on compact disc the next year.
On March 7, 2006, Neko Case also released her fourth solo album, ‘Fox Confessor Brings the Flood’ with the ANTI- Records. The album debuted at No. 54 on the Billboard 200 albums chart.
Continue Reading Below
On March 3, 2009, she released her fifth studio album, ‘Middle Cyclone’ with the ANTI- record label.
Her latest studio album, ‘The Worse Things Get, The Harder I Fight, The Harder I Fight, The More I Love You’ was released on September 3, 2013.
Her fourth solo album, ‘Fox Confessor Brings the Flood’ evokes a wide range of emotions and incorporates a wide range of musical styles. The lyrics of some of the songs in this album are based on her life experience from childhood and adulthood.
The album, ‘Middle Cyclone’ was Case's first solo effort after a three year break. Her lyrics for this album are flooded with imaginary tornadoes and nature in general. The lyrics depict how her upbringing led her to have a strong emotional attachment to nature and animals. The album peaked at No. 3 on US Billboard charts.
Awards & Achievements
On February 2, 2006, Case was honored as the Female Artist of the Year at the Plug Independent Music Awards.
In 2009, she was nominated for the Grammy Awards for her fifth studio album, ‘Middle Cyclone’. She was nominated in the genre, the Best Contemporary Folk Album and the Best Recording Package.
Personal Life & Legacy
Since she spent her childhood in loneliness with her pet dogs, Neko Case believes in humane treatment of animals.
She is known as an artist and musician, an avid reader and also an environmentalist.
She prefers to keep her personal life away from media and from the public in general.