Within the last ten years, TV shows have started making more prominent use of music. Suddenly every prime-time soap and teen drama is putting out a soundtrack. During my last year of high school, one of my favorite sources for new music was Veronica Mars. I was aware of Tegan and Sara’s existence, but hearing their music on the show made me a fan. Another find during the Veronica Mars era was Neko Case.
In my opinion, the most remarkable thing about Neko Case is her voice. You can’t mistake that mix of darkness and vulnerability for anyone else. Her lyrics compliment her vocal qualities with bleak imagery and completely sympathetic emotions. They are the kind of songs that can help you get through some bad times.
1. “Hold On, Hold On”
On the Neko Case Darkness Scale, “Hold On, Hold On” is particularly bleak. It’s a song that despairs and fights back at the same time. “That echo chorus lied to me with its hold on, hold on, hold on, hold on” goes the refrain, with the result of recreating the exact chorus that the singer is rebelling against.
2. “I Wish I Was The Moon”
Perhaps it was a bit ridiculous for a nineteen-year-old to love such a world-weary song, but love it I did. This is a ballad that shows her alt-country leanings. The building momentum of the music belies the hopelessness of the lyrics in classic Neko Case style.
3. “This Tornado Loves You”
Talk about a mixture of light and dark. It’s all right there in the title. This is the closest that Neko Case gets to upbeat, and it’s expressed through the language of destruction. (I apologize for the bizarre video. This song was harder to come by on YouTube.)
Okay, this may have turned into an outline for an English paper. There’s nothing former English majors love more than discussing juxtaposition! Just don’t hold it against Neko. She’s really very good.