When: 8pm on Tuesday 10 December 2013
Where: Royal Northern College of Music Concert Hall, 124 Oxford Road, Manchester M13 9RD
We’re delighted to welcome Neko Case to Manchester – her first show here in over four years!
Neko Case has always been brave, but with her latest album she proves herself fearless. With her forthcoming Anti-/Epitaph release, The Worse Things Get, the Harder I Fight, the Harder I Fight, the More I Love You, the singer, known as much for her restless musical curiosity as her clarion voice, charts a powerfully personal course across the rocky landscape of childhood, love, and loss.
Case’s 2009 album, Middle Cyclone, was her most ambitious to date, vaulting her to new heights of critical and commercial success and netting two Grammy nominations. But if Middle Cyclone – laced with frogs, tornados, and killer whales – was Case’s exploration of the potency of the natural world, the new album sees Case turning inward. The Worse Things Get … plunges into the wilderness of human experience, revealing Case at her most emotionally raw and yet, paradoxically, in steely control.
Executive produced by Case, the album was recorded by Tucker Martine in Portland, Oregon, as well as with Chris Schultz and Craig Schumacher in Tucson and with Phil Palazzolo in Brooklyn. Martine, Case, and Darryl Neudorf mixed the album, on which Case is supported by a battalion of musicians including guitarist Paul Rigby, bassist Tom V. Ray, longtime backing vocalist Kelly Hogan, multi-instrumentalist Jon Rauhouse, Kurt Dahle, and John Convertino. Other guests include M. Ward, Carl Newman, Steve Turner, Howe Gelb, and members of My Morning Jacket, Los Lobos, and Visqueen.
This far-flung set of collaborators mirrors Case’s own peripatetic path to creative maturity. Born in Virginia in 1970 and raised, for the most part, in working-class Tacoma, Washington, she’s lived and worked in Seattle, Vancouver B.C., Chicago, and Tucson, before moving five years ago to a 100-acre farm in rural Vermont.
Now 42, Case is reluctant to talk about her family. The Worse Things Get …, her sixth studio album, emerges from a three-year period the artist describes as full of ‘grief and mourning,’ in the wake of the deaths of not just both her parents, but several intimates as well.
The Worse Things Get … traces an emotional arc that reveals Case in all her thorny contradictions, each track in the 40-minute song cycle its own short story. ‘I like to have a linear flow,’ she says of the album’s structure. ‘I wanted to have faith in the songs as a group rather than stacking the deck with all the upbeat songs at the top.’
Support comes from Lucy Wainwright Roche. Born into a musical family Greenwich Village, NYC, Lucy Wainwright Roche is deeply steeped in the musical world. In addition to her parents (Loudon Wainwright III and Suzzy Roche of The Roches) and her siblings, (Martha and Rufus Wainwright), Lucy’s various aunts, uncles and cousins are all musicians. With two EPs (8 Songs and 8 More) and two full-length albums (2010’s Lucy and 2013’s There’s a Last Time For Everything) under her belt, she’s travelled thousands of miles, and armed with a just a guitar and a huge angelic voice, she’s performed solo and with countless musicians from Neko Case to the Indigo Girls.