Song of the Day #836: ‘Look For Me (I’ll Be Around)’ – Neko Case

Top Ten Female Vocalists – #3 – Neko Case

As I pointed out last week, four of the ten women on my list of favorite vocalists have ties to the country genre (here’s number three). And I was a fan of three of them even before my Brad Paisley-inspired entrance into country music fandom.

I suspect that’s more than a coincidence… I surmised earlier that country music tends to leave a little more room, sonically, for vocals. But maybe there’s a directness and emotional honesty in those songs that makes the voices more appealing.

Neko Case has a big and expressive voice that’s perfectly suited to the Tammy Wynette-esque balladry she performed early in her career. But she’s used it even more effectively on her solo albums of the past several years, spinning out gorgeous southern gothic tunes that feel charmingly out of time and place.

Today’s track can be found on Blacklisted, her 2002 solo album. It’s a torchy unrequited love song that I think would make a perfect James Bond theme.

When you tire of all the bright lights
Haste that’s killing and you’re willing to stay home nights
When your feet are back on the solid ground
Look for me, I’ll be around

When the new crowd starts to bore you
Just remember there is someone to adore you
When you’re weary of nights out on the town
Look for me, I’ll be around

May not seem exciting the way those others do
I’m emotion, my devotion
You will need some day as I need you

When the kicks go that it brings you
You will hanker for an anchor just to cling to
When you’ve lived it up till it’s got you down
Look for me, look for me
Look for me, I’ll be around

7 thoughts on “Song of the Day #836: ‘Look For Me (I’ll Be Around)’ – Neko Case

  1. Dana says:

    I don’t hear this as a country song, and I haven’t heard Case do country (at least not in her original songs), though I certainly have only heard a smattering of her tunes. So I don’t think you really can count her as a country singer, at least not in any traditional sense. Perhaps more of an alternative singer with some country influence..

    I find her voice pleasant enough, but nothing so exceptional.

  2. pegclifton says:

    I agree with Dana, this doesn’t sounds so country to me either, more bluesy, and it would make a great James Bond theme song!

  3. Clay says:

    Sorry, I didn’t mean to suggest that today’s song was one of her country tunes. It’s definitely not. But that’s where she got her start.

  4. Amy says:

    Despite the fact that today’s SOTD is clearly not an example of country music, I did want to address your observation about the directness and emotional honesty in many country songs that provide a showcase for great singers.

    We’ve discussed this one before, but I figured it was worth featuring again in terms of this thread:

    Obviously, Dolly’s country take on this song is far simpler than Whitney’s diva take on it, but she certainly demonstrates her own beautiful voice when she sings it. While I’m not a big fan of many of the songs she sings, I do love Dolly’s voice.

    This next song, by Mary Chapin Carpenter, provides an example of a voice and a song of equal power and simplicity. While it’s not my favorite of her songs, it is one I admire tremendously and one that captures all that is best about country music:

    “I am a Town” –

    So, yes, I do think that this music leaves a little more room, sonically, for these direct and emotionally honest vocals, and I can readily understand why country singers would wind up on your list/s.

  5. Amy says:

    The one I should have featured – “Only a Dream” – is one of my very favorites, and still demonstrates the point Clay is making today.

    Yup, I’ve revealed one of my ten today. Mary Chapin Carpenter is definitely on my list. Enjoy.

  6. Amy says:

    And here is Neko Case in country mode:

    Thanks, Clay, for finding this for me, as I couldn’t begin to track down a song that didn’t have her sounding like Billie Holiday!

  7. pegclifton says:

    I agree with Amy; I would rather hear Dolly sing that song her way then the big diva voice screaming the lyrics any day. While I’m a fan of Barbra Streisand, I like her best when she sings the simple songs not when she belts out the big numbers. I can really hear the country in Neko Case’s song, what a difference between the two. I must say I like the SOTD Neko better. Also, Mary Chapin Carpenter has a lovely voice and again this is the kind of song I like best. I won’t list a few of my favorites until your list is finished, but so far you haven’t chosen any of them. That would be partly because I haven’t heard of a few of them 🙂

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