Neko Case’s lyrics have always been very personal and her voice accentuates them to their emotional heights. Her latest album, Middle Cyclone is no exception, but she does one thing that brings you closer to her than ever before… without saying a word.
The album starts off with the stunning “This Tornado Loves You,” where she exclaims that “I want you/ I have waited with a glacier’s patience/ Smashed every transformer with every trailer ’til nothing was standing 65 miles wide/ Still you are nowhere.” She also laments, “I miss how you sigh yourself to sleep.”
“People Got a Lotta Nerve” is insanely catchy and Case spits eloquent venom in the chorus, “I’m a man eater/ Don’t be surprised/ When I eat you.”
I could go on about the brilliant lyrics like “I love your long shadows and your gunpowder eyes” from “Prison Girls.” Or I could continue about how every song on this album is a little bit of musical perfection. But it is the last track that first intrigued me and then transported me straight to her farm in rural Vermont.
She has stated in an interview with Paste Magazine that there is a bridge near her house where there are “trillions of Mexican free-tailed bats.” She walks her dogs down there and visits them, just relaxing and listening to them. Why do I mention this? Because the 15th and final track is over a half-hour of these bats squeaking away. How much more intimate can you get? Close your eyes and you are sent to that very bridge listening to the bats just fly around. You can probably picture Neko standing there next to you. I do.
It is the lyrics that initially drew me to Neko Case. Then her voice wrapped around me like a mummy and I couldn’t get away. Now on Middle Cyclone I get all of that and I get to picture myself relaxing with Neko doing one of her favorite things in the world. I think I can cross that off of my bucket list.
Neko Case: www.nekocase.com