This one came as a big surprise. Neko Case, k.d. lang and Laura Veirs have been secretly recording in a Portland recording studio and will release their album case/lang/veirs on June 17 via Anti- Records.
The new group had its roots a number of years ago when lang sent an email to Case and Veirs proposing a joint project. Case said “She lit the flare. She shot it into the air and we said, ‘Let’s do this.’ Laura and I both responded immediately. There was no question.”
The new album contains fourteen new songs that the three women have written over the last 2-1/2 years. It was recorded in Portland under the guidance of Tucker Martine, who is Veris’ husband at their backyard recording studio.
Lang started the writing process with Veirs as both lived in Portland. “I just wanted to do something different, something fun. We grappled with how to proceed in the beginning, because we thought scheduling with Neko, who lives in Vermont and is always on the road, would make it hard to get enough good songs written. We thought, should we do a cover record? But we all felt the strongest thing to do would be to try to write, so we persevered. Laura is such a prolific writer, so she really drove the songwriting, and it came together.”
Veirs said “At first we thought what can we possibly write about, we don’t even know each other. There were no themes. So k.d. and I were having trouble writing and went on a walk. We saw this firework stand and we started looking at the names of the different fireworks, and one of them was called ‘Delirium.’ We were like, ‘that’s a good song title,’ and we started building.”
Case then joined at a later date. Lang said “She came in and, of course, Neko has a way of making everything great” with Veirs adding “We were writing things like ‘the walls are falling in,’ you know, trying to find a way of saying this person is in a delirious state. She said ‘kaleidoscoping in,’ and I was like, that’s it. One word and the chorus went from cliché to magical. As for k.d., she’s a living legend and an amazing editor. It was working with someone who is thinking in ways that I have never thought or been able to see. It was just so fun just to see that happen and to feel like, yeah, it’s better with other people. That was a revelation for me, because I’ve been such a solo artist for so many years. I’m so grateful.”
Neko is also thrilled with the collaboration. “I have such admiration for both of them. k.d. is on the superstar spectrum, and Laura is fully independent. It’s a cool thing to bring those things together and see what people do. For me it was about just letting myself shut off and follow the melodies. They’re both really talented at coming up with melodies, which are the hardest for me. It was like, ‘Oh. This is like giving me my own bumper car. Thank you.”
lang added “The combination of spirits, the combination of artistry, is very unique, because we have definite similarities, but we are very, very different, and it creates a really interesting thing. It’s a truly collaborative record where our individual essences are firmly in place.”
k.d. lang began her career singing country music in her native Canada, coming to international attention with her album Angel With a Lariat and appearance at the closing ceremony of the 1988 Winter Olympic Games in Calgary. After a number of albums melding country and pop, lang moved in a different direction with her Grammy Award winning album Ingenue and its hit single Constant Craving. She has released twelve studio albums.
Neko Case had her big brake when she recorded vocals for the album Mass Romantic by the New Pornographers. While she continued to occassionally record with that group, she began her solo career in 1997 with The Virginian and has released eight critically acclaimed studio albums including Middle Cyclone (2009) and The Worse Things Get, The Harder I Fight, The Harder I Fight, The More I Love You (2013).
Laura Veirs didn’t really get interested in music until her 20’s when she joined the punk rock band Rair Kx! in Portland, OR. After graduating from college, she began to gravitate towards softer sounds, embracing both country and folk, resulting in her self-titled 1999 debut album. She has since recorded eight more albums including 2013’s Warp and Weft.
The track list:
Honey and Smoke
Song for Judee
Greens of June
Behind the Armory
Best Kept Secret
1,000 Miles Away
I Want to Be Here
Why Do We Fight
6/22 – San Diego, CA – Humphrey’s
6/23 – Los Angeles, CA – Greek Theatre
6/25 – Saratoga, CA – The Mountain Winery
6/26 – Laytonville, CA – Kate Wolf Music Festival
6/28 – Victoria, B.C. – TD Victoria International Jazz Fest
6/30 – Seattle, WA – Woodland Park Amphitheatre
7/02 – Portland, OR – Oregon Zoo Amphitheatre
7/05 – Bend, OR – Athletic Club of Bend
7/07 – Reno, NV – Robert Z. Hawkins Amphitheater
7/10 – Denver, CO – Denver Botanic Gardens
7/22 – Newport, RI – Newport Folk Festival
7/24 – Camden, NJ – XPoNential Music Festival
7/26 – Brooklyn, NY – Prospect Park
7/27 – Washington, D.C. – Lincoln Theatre
7/29 – Atlanta, GA – Atlanta Botanical Garden
8/02 – San Antonio, TX – Tobin Center for the Performing Arts
8/03 – Austin, TX – Bass Performance Hall
8/09 – Bayfield, WI – Big Top Chataqua
8/14 – Winnipeg, MB – Interstellar Rodeo
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