Fox Confessor was my first exposure to Case and it remains the best thing she’s ever done. The album became a family favorite, especially beloved by my then 4-year-old daughter. She still plays it today at 16.
Pretty much any Neko Case song transports me to the same imaginary headspace. I picture a quiet autumn night in the woods at dusk, perfect temperature, fireflies blinking on and off, a harvest moon rising.
‘I Wish I Was the Moon,’ from the 2002 album Blacklisted, definitely has that effect on me. It’s exquisitely produced and, as always, beautifully sung. The kind of song you want to get lost in.
Today’s track — the title cut — is a quick little poem that seemingly uses a train as a metaphor for a person who won’t settle down. That’s how I read it, anyway.
What’s unclear to me is how this song fits its title.
Not much to this one other than the rustic, majestic sound she captured on this record and its predecessor, Fox Confessor Brings the Flood, but I do find a lot to like in the lyrics.
Lines like “I’ve been away for so long I’ve lost my taste for home” and “that’s a dirty, fallow feeling to be the dangling ceiling from when the roof came crashing down” are evocative and sad in the best way.
The major exception is her 2006 album Fox Confessor Brings the Flood, which broke through to hold a spot among my favorite albums of that decade.
But the albums she’s released before and since just haven’t had the same lasting appeal.
On her latest solo album, the annoyingly titled The Worse Things Get, The Harder I Fight, The Harder I Fight, The More I Love You, Neko Case delivers another batch of her signature smoky indie blues songs.
Today’s SOTD is one of the simplest, and the one that has stuck with me the most.
Case’s 2006 album Fox Confessor Brings the Flood remains her best work, and the epitome of her earthy alternative style. That album is so good that it’s hard not to compare her subsequent records to it, to their detriment.
That’s not really fair to the new work, but I guess that’s the curse of success.