After teaming up with fellow sirens k.d. lang and Laura Veirs for the sparkling Case/Lang/Veirs album in 2016, Neko Case is striking out on her own once again. The New Pornographers vocalist, also coming off a fantastic NP album in the form of Whiteout Conditions in 2017, has announced her upcoming seventh studio album, Hell-On, due out June 1 on Anti-. It features quite a few guest performers, including Hell-On’ Beth Ditto, Mark Lanegan, k.d. Lang, AC Newman, Eric Bachmann, Kelly Hogan, Doug Gillard, Laura Veirs, Joey Burns “and many more.”
Also released today is the album’s titled track, “Hell-On,” a brooding and minor key lullaby with echoing bass drums, subtle strings and an overall foreboding tone. Check it out below, and give some appreciation to Case’s cigarette-wreathed coif on the album cover.
Here’s Case’s full statement on the new album:
My name is Neko Case. I am a music producer, songwriter, and musician. I just finished a record called ‘Hell-On’ with a cast of talented musicians, techs, label folks and friends.
What I want you to know about me isn’t too much, nor do I want to over talk it. What you take away on your own, as a listener is most important. I worked really hard and I was present for every second of this project. Producing a record is a huge task and there were times I was deep in the weeds, but that is normal for a record that takes a year plus. The weeds aren’t so bad. There were a lot of break-through moments, belly-laughs, sleepless nights and grubby, shiny jeans. In the end it was all worth it and I am so proud of how it turned out, and I am so grateful to have worked with such dedicated, giving artists to make it happen.
There were a few challenges during the making of this record from small (scheduling difficulties, and occasional miscommunication) to large (my house burning down while I was overseas.) But none of them are the story of this recording, the songs are the story. They are my best self. They are everything I’ve worked for since I was a kid, whether I knew it or not.
I write songs from a feeling of solidarity with folks who feel alone or isolated, I think I’m trying to comfort people in this way. It’s not a forceful way rather “No commitment necessary;” take it if you want it, take it as you can.
My style is odd, I don’t know what genre this is. I don’t have a pretty voice or a trained voice, and I am constantly disappointed that I don’t have a “tough” voice, no matter how hard I practice, but it’s mine, and for all its loud, heavy-handed, nasal, vibrato-less qualities I accept it. The closest sound I have found to compare it to is Bulgarian Folk singing. My Eastern ancestors could have been proud of me a century ago? I could have been a droning “caller of wasps” perhaps? I just invented that job, I like the sound of it.
The songs are who I believe myself to be and that will change, but for now that’s how it is and I’m very satisfied with that.
Below, check out the Hell-On tracklist, and Case’s announced tour dates for the new album.
Last Lion Of Albion
Halls of Sarah
Curse of the I-5 Corridor
Oracle Of The Maritime
Sleep All Summer
My Uncle’s Navy
Pitch Or Honey
Neko Case Tour Dates
27 — Gorge Amphitheatre, WA @ Sasquatch Festival
28 — Boise, ID @ Summerfield At Memorial Stadium*
30 — Bend, OR @ Les Schwab Amphitheatre*
1 — Berkeley, CA @ Greek Theatre*
2 — San Diego, CA @ Cal Coast Credit Union Open Air Theatre*
3 — Los Angeles, CA @ Greek Theatre*
5 — Phoenix, CA @ Comerica Theatre*
8 — Irving, TX @ The Pavilion At Toyota Music Factory*
9 — Austin, TX @ Austin360 Amphitheatre*
10 — Sugarland, TX @ Smart Financial Centre*
12 — Rogers, AR @ Walmart Arkansas Music Pavilion*
13 — Southaven, MS @ Bankplus Amphitheatre at Snowden Grove*
15 — Indianapolis, IN @ Farm Bureau Lawn at White River Amphitheatre*
16 — Chicago, IL @ Huntington Bank Pavilion at Northerly Island*
17 — Nashville, TN @ Ascend Amphitheatre*
19 — Charlotte, NC @ Charlotte Metro Credit Union Amphitheatre*
20 — Columbia, MD @ Merriweather Post Pavilion*
22 — Philadelphia, PA @ Festival Pier at Penn’s Landing*
23 — Boston, MA @ Blue Hills Bank Pavilion*
24 — Boston, MA @ Blue Hills Bank Pavilion*
26 — Wallingford, CT @ Oakdale Theatre*
28 — Bangor, ME @ Darling’s Waterfront Pavilion*
29 — North Adams, MA @ MASS MOCA*
30 — Cleveland, OH @ Jacobs Pavilion at Nautica*
1 — Detroit, MI @ Meadow Brook Amphitheatre*
3 — Pittsburgh, PA @ Heinz Hall*
4 — Cooperstown, NY @ Brewery Ommegang*
6 — Madison, WI @ Breese Stevens Field*
7 — St. Louis, MO @ Peabody Opera House*
8 — Kansas City, MO @ Starlight Theatre*
10 — Morrison, CO @ Red Rocks Amphitheatre*
*w/ Ray LaMontagne