NEKO CASE WAS PLAYING AND TOURING WITH BANDS FOR A DECADE BEFORE SHE REALIZED IT WAS HER JOB.
“Music was, and is, my obsession, but I guess I couldn’t see the forest through the trees,” she writes from her farmhouse in Vermont, reflecting on early periods of touring with several bands so regularly that she had to quit every other job she had. “I also didn’t feel worthy of calling myself a ‘musician.’ It was just too sacred.”
Now more than 20 years into that calling, Neko Case is the consummate career artist–fearless and versatile, with a fierce work ethic and a constant drive to search deeper within herself for creative growth. Nowhere is that clearer than in Truckdriver, Gladiator, Mule, a stunning vinyl box set of Case’s complete (so far) solo discography, available from Anti- on November 13.
All eight titles–The Virginian (1997), Furnace Room Lullaby (2000), Canadian Amp (2001), Blacklisted (2002), The Tigers Have Spoken (2004), Fox Confessor Brings the Flood (2006), Middle Cyclone (2009), and The Worse Things Get, the Harder I Fight, the Harder I Fight, the More I Love You (2013)– are remastered from their original analog tape and made available on 180 gram black vinyl, some for the first time in years, or ever. The set also includes an 80-page, limited-edition, full-color book of photography, designed and curated by Case herself.
“The release of this set gives listeners an excuse to appreciate the scope of one of the most individual and passionate artists making music today,” says Anti- label head Andy Kaulkin. “When you take it all in, Neko’s journey from punk/country torchbearer to avant pop icon has been staggering. This box makes a strong case for her fierceness of vision, pristine musical craft, unflinching lyrics, and of course…That voice!”
Born in 1970, and raised all over working-class Washington state, Case spent a turbulent childhood shuffling between divorced and uninterested parents, and often alone. This is one reason she is an ardent collaborator, working with a huge roster of Canadian and American artists throughout her career, and thriving as a member of indie-pop supergroup the New Pornographers and other projects alongside her solo work.
“I know there are people who are really good at performing solo,” she once said in an interview. “Me, I just feel lonely. I hate it. I don’t like to practice alone, either. It’s about community for me. I think it’s about not having a family as a kid. I just spent a lot of time being really, really, really alone. I just don’t want to do that anymore.”