Top 10 Neko Case Songs

Neko Case Songs

Feature Photo: MPH Photos / Shutterstock.com

Our top 10 Neko Case songs list digs deep into the music of an American-born artist known for her contribution to the alternative country scene. The 1970-born Alexandria native established her music career at a tender age joining several bands in the Pacific Northwest including The Propanes, Maow, Cub, and The Weasles. Neko Case’s toddler steps into the music scene saw her get involved with the local grunge and punk rock scenes.

Eventually, Neko Case would venture into a solo career this time taking on a country-influenced path. At the beginning of her solo career, Neko Case teamed up with her backing band the Boyfriends. Neko Case issued two studio albums with her backing band the Boyfriends. In total, Neko Case has issued seven full-length studio albums, four of which made it to the Billboard 200 Chart.

A Review of Neko Case’s Albums

In 1997, Neko Case issued her debut studio album The Virginian in conjunction with her backing band. The album was issued through Mint Records under the production of Brian Connelly. Other artists (once) affiliated with Mint Records include Andrew W.K., The Corn Sisters, The Smugglers, and The Evaporators.

The Virginian failed to impress in the mainstream. However, the album managed to feature some of Neko Case’s fan favorites including “Lonely Old Lies,” “Duchess,” and “The Virginian.” The album also featured Neko Case’s covers of the songs “Bowling Green” by The Everly Brothers and “Misfire” by Queen.

Furnace Room Lullaby, issued in 2000, marked Neko Case and Her Boyfriends’ sophomore studio album. the album was also issued through Mint Records with the production contributions of Darryl Neudorf. Other artists who have worked with the Canadian record producer and engineer include Blue Rodeo, Bob Egan, Sarah McLachlan, and Justin Rutledge. Darryl also served as a drummer in the Canadian rock band 54-40.

Furnace Room Lullaby managed to enter the Canadian RPM Country Albums Chart peaking at number twenty-seven. Unfortunately, the album would be Neko Case’s last with her backing band. “Furnace Room Lullaby,” “Set Out Running,” “Bought and Sold,” and “Thrice All American” are some of the popular songs by Neko Case from the album.

Neko Case returned in 2002 with her third studio album Blacklisted. The album was issued through Bloodshot Records under the production of the American record producer Craig Schumacher. Other artists who have worked with record producer Craig Schumacher include The Jayhawks, Amos Lee, Giant Sand, and Calexico among others.

Blacklisted climbed to the thirty-first spot on the Billboard Independent Albums Chart. The album has also sold over a hundred thousand copies globally to date. “I Wish I Was the Moon,” “Blacklisted,” “Pretty Girls,” “Deep Red Bells,” and “Things That Scare Me” are some of the best Neko Case songs from the album. The album also featured Neko Case’s cover of Aretha Franklin’s song “Runnin’ Out of Fools.”

Fox Confessor Brings the Flood, issued in 2006, marked the singer’s fourth studio album. The album was issued through Anti- Records with the production contribution of Darryl Neudorf. Other artists who have issued records through Anti- Records include Solomon Burke, Kate Bush, Deafheaven, Fleet Foxes, and Bob MouldFox Confessor Brings the Flood rose to the fourth spot on the Billboard Independent Albums Chart.

The album also marked Neko Case’s first album to have graced the Billboard 200 Chart peaking at the fifty-fourth spot. Fox Confessor Brings the Flood has since its release sold over two hundred thousand copies in the US alone. The album is home to musical gems such as “Margaret vs. Pauline,” “Star Witness,” “Maybe Sparrow,” “Hold On, Hold On,” and “John Saw That Number.”

In 2009, Neko Case issued her fifth studio album Middle Cyclone. The album was issued through Anti- Records under the production of Neko Case and Darryl Neudorf. Middle Cyclone marked Neko Case’s first album to enter the UK Albums Chart peaking at position one hundred and fourteen. The album also marked Neko Case’s first chart-topping record—the LP rose atop the Billboard Independent Albums Chart.

Middle Cyclone also climbed to position ninety-one on the ARIA Albums Chart. The album also graced the Billboard 200 Chart peaking at position three. Middle Cyclone has also sold over two hundred thousand copies in the US to date. “People Got a Lotta Nerve,” “Magpie to the Morning,” “This Tornado Loves You,” and “I’m An Animal” are some of the best Neko Case songs from the album. The album featured Neko Case’s covers of the songs “Don’t Forget Me” by Joe Cocker and “Never Turn Your Back on Mother Earth” by the American rock band Sparks.

Neko Case returned in 2013 with her sixth studio album The Worse Things Get, the Harder I Fight, the Harder I Fight, the More I Love You. The album was also issued through Anti- Records under the production of Tucker Martine. Other artists who have worked with record producer Tucker Martine include Rosanne Cash, Punch Brothers, The Decemberists, The Avett Brothers, and The Chieftains.

The Worse Things Get, the Harder I Fight, the Harder I Fight, the More I Love You also rose atop the Billboard Independent Albums Chart. Neko Case also saw the album climb to a peak position of number twelve on the Billboard 200 Chart. The Worse Things Get, the Harder I Fight, the Harder I Fight, the More I Love You is Neko Case’s highest-charting album having peaked at position sixty-three. “Calling Cards,” “Man,” and “Night Still Comes” are some of the best v songs from the album.

Five years later, Neko Case returned with her seventh studio album Hell-On. The album was issued through Anti- Records under the production of Björn Yttling. Other artists who have worked with the Swedish record producer Björn Yttling include Primal Scream, Franz Ferdinand, and Peter Bjorn and John. The album managed to rise to the fourth spot on the Billboard Independent Albums Chart.

Hell-On also climbed to the eighty-eighth spot on the ARIA Albums Chart. The album graced the Billboard 200 Chart peaking at number thirty-one. “Last Lion of Albion,” “Bad Luck,” and “Halls of Sarah” are the most popular songs by Neko Case from the album.

Neko Case’s Accolades and Legacy

Neko Case remains one of the most consistent alternative country artists from the ‘90s. While alternative country soundscapes remain Neko Case’s mainstay, her records showcase folk rock, indie rock, and Americana influences in her music career. Neko Case’s musicianship saw her crowned the Female Artist of the Year at the 2006 PLUG Independent Music Awards.

The singer has also been nominated for a Grammy severally. Her album The Worse Things Get, the Harder I Fight, the Harder I Fight, the More I Love You was nominated for the Best Alternative Music Album accolade in 2014. Unfortunately, Neko lost the award to Modern Vampires of the City, an album by the band Vampire Weekend. Here we present our top 10 Neko Case songs of all time.

#10- Magpie to the Morning

Introducing us to the top 10 Neko Case songs is the charming hit “Magpie to the Morning.” The song is one of the fan-favorite picks from Neko Case’s fifth studio album Middle Cyclone. Like most of the songs on the album Middle Cyclone, “Magpie to the Morning” showcases Neko Case’s strong emotional attachment to animals and nature.

In this song, we experience the luscious quality of Neko Case’s vocals. Joining her in the vocal delivery in this song was Canadian alternative country singer-songwriter Carolyn Mark Carolyn Mark has also provided backing vocals in several songs by other artists such as The Buttless Chaps, Blackout Reach, and Frog Eyes. Both Carolyn Mark and Neko Case teamed up in 1998 to form the alternative county act The Corn Sisters.

#9- Bad Luck

Despite being one of the most recent songs by Neko Case, “Bad Luck” remains one of her best releases of all time. The song is featured on her seventh and most recent album Hell-On. Initially, the song “Bad Luck” was intended to be a folklore track. However, the song took a whole new significance after realizing that her Vermont house had been razed down by fire while she was in Sweden.

Of course, “Bad Luck” was quite a hard track to record owing to the fact that its lyrics alluded to unwanted fortune and that Neko Case had just some bad luck at the time. Nevertheless, “Bad Luck” remains one of the amazing tracks from the album Hell-On.

#8- Night Still Comes

Coming in at number eight on our top 10 Neko Case songs list is the amazing hit “Night Still Comes.” The song is featured on the singer’s sixth studio album The Worse Things Get, the Harder I Fight, the Harder I Fight, the More I Love You. “Night Still Comes” features lyrics that allude to Neko Case’s soulful examination of her depression.

Despite it being a sad track, “Night Still Comes” manages to capture the attention of its listeners thanks to its amazing vocal delivery by Neko Case. The song features the backing vocals of singer Kelly Horgan. Kelly Horgan has also worked with other artists including The Decemberists, Drive-By Truckers, Silkworm, and Jakob Dylan.

#7- Maybe Sparrow

“Maybe Sparrow” sneaks its way to the seventh pick on our list. The song is featured on Neko Case’s fourth studio album Fox Confessor Brings the Flood. “Maybe Sparrow” is an emblem of Neko Case’s continued excellence in her songwriting. The song also finds Neko Case giving us a taste of her impressive vocal range. “Maybe Sparrow” was covered by the artists Murder by Death and Winston K.

#6- People Got a Lotta Nerve

Number six on our top 10 Neko Case songs list is the luscious pick “People Got a Lotta Nerve.” The song is yet another musical gem from Neko Case’s studio album Middle Cyclone. “People Got a Lotta Nerve” is a heartbreakingly beautiful song that served as the lead single to Neko Case’s fifth studio album Middle Cyclone.

The song elucidates more of Neko Case’s activism for nature and animals. “People Got a Lotta Nerve” features an animated music video created by Paul and Julie Morstad. The song is by far the best pick off the album Middle Cyclone.

#5- Deep Red Bells

Blacklisted, Neko Case’s third studio album is home to the fifth song on our list, “Deep Red Bells.” This haunting song finds Neko Case reminiscing the memories of living in Tacoma during The Green River Killer’s murder spree. Neko Case reflects on growing up in the shadow of a serial murderer who used to charm his victims before killing them. This unsettling song features some luscious baritone guitar tunes served by Dallas Good, a member of the Canadian band The Sadies.

#4- Furnace Room Lullaby

Impressive! That’s the single word that describes the quality of the song “Furnace Room Lullaby.” “Furnace Room Lullaby” is by far the best Neko Case song from the singer’s sophomore album. The song is an emblem of Neko Case’s impressive honeyed vocals. Complementing her on the backing vocals was Kelly Hogan, a then-member of Neko Case’s backing band.

“Furnace Room Lullaby” was covered by the American artist Carey Farrell. The song features a music video directed by Glen Winter. “Furnace Room Lullaby” was featured in the soundtrack of the 2000 film The Gift. Other artists whose songs were featured in The Gift soundtrack include Willie Nelson, Loretta Lynn, Waylon Jennings, George Jones, and Amy Nelson.

#3- Star Witness

Ranking third on our top 10 Neko Case songs list is the outstanding hit “Star Witness.” The song is by far one of the best songs by Neko Case from her fourth studio album Fox Confessor Brings the Flood. Neko revealed that “Star Witness” was a song inspired by an event that happened in front of her.

Some of the song’s listeners speculate that the subject event was a car accident. However, Neko Case revealed that it was actually about someone being shot. She went ahead to reveal that the whole incident happened in Chicago as a result of gang violence.

#2- Hold On, Hold On

“Hold On, Hold On” is one of the most popular fan-favorite picks by Neko Case. The song is yet another impressive song off Neko Case’s fourth studio album Fox Confessor Brings the Flood. “Hold On, Hold On” has its lyrics alluding to someone so weary about relationships that their perception of love is absurd.

Neko Case revealed that “Hold On, Hold On” is one of the best songs that she ever penned. The song was inspired by the struggles of her friend who was going through tough times—the friend mentioned to Neko Case that she couldn’t hang on. “Hold On, Hold On” is a message of hope to the friend and for all those who feel overwhelmed by challenges.

#1- I Wish I Was the Moon

Ranking at number one on our top 10 Neko Case songs list is the track “I Wish I Was the Moon.” The song is featured on Neko Case’s third studio album Blacklisted. “I Wish I Was the Moon” finds Neko Case singing about her persistent wish to be the moon owing to the loneliness and fatigue engulfing her life.

In this song, Neko Case reveals being trapped by her own fears and not finding a solution to her problems. While the song “I Wish I Was the Moon” might not have come from the most successful album by Neko Case, it remains an emblem of Neko Case’s musicianship in the alternative country scene. The song was covered by the American singer William Elliott Whitmore.

Top 10 Neko Case Songs article published on Classic RockHistory.com© 2023

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