Sound Advice: Memorial Hall to Welcome Neko Case's Emotionally Resonant Tunes in January

Case's 2022 retrospective "Wild Creatures" is a revealing reminder of just how potent and powerful her voice has always been.

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click to enlarge Neko Case will return to Memorial Hall on Jan. 27, 2023. - Photo: Ebru Yildiz
Photo: Ebru Yildiz
Neko Case will return to Memorial Hall on Jan. 27, 2023.

After an acclaimed 25-year solo career, Neko Case finally decided it’s okay to pause, catch her breath and look back with the pleasure of a deep retrospective titled Wild Creatures in 2022. It’s a revealing reminder of just how potent and powerful her voice has always been, whether singing solo, with her band The Boyfriends, or with her part-time group The New Pornographers.

The scarlet-haired Virginia native got her start in the late ‘90s with her striking debut, The Virginian. With her originals, choice of country covers by Ernest Tubb and Loretta Lynn and compelling voice, Case’s path was set.

Since this was the start of the alt-country/roots era, her timing was perfect. Like Canada’s K.D. Lang, Case was often labeled a “torch and twang” singer because of her mighty contralto voice and folk/country slant. Case eventually teamed up with Lang and Laura Viers on a 2013 collaboration. She also has contributed her charismatic vocals to projects by Calexico, John Doe and Giant Sand, among many collaborations.

However, Case has followed her own adventurous, independent muse for many years now – no longer limited to roots twang – and has produced a series of emotionally resonant, indie alt/pop records amply reflected on the new collection. With poetic, romantic ballads like “I Wish I Was the Moon Tonight,” the jaded heartbreak of “The Next Time You Say ‘Forever” and the bold “I’m an Animal,” which leads off Wild Creatures, Case always exudes a fearless yet sophisticated edge in her music.

Neko Case plays Memorial Hall at 7 p.m. Jan. 27. Info: memorialhallotr.com.

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