Neko Case – Furnace Room Lullabye
Acquired: Kings Road Merch Mail Order, New, 2013
Furnace Room Lullabye isn’t my favorite Neko Case album, but it is definitely the one I’ve heard the most. It’s my wife’s favorite album, and we listen to it ALL THE TIME. At home, on trips, anytime the album is at hand, Jenny is apt to put it on and sing along. This is actually her album, anyway. I got it for her for our wedding anniversary (because Paper Anniversary is too easy if you work at a bookstore and I prefer a Vinyl Anniversary instead). My favorite album of Neko’s is Fox Confessor Brings the Flood (her new one, The Worse Things Get, The Harder IFight, The Harder I Fight, The More I Love You, is creeping up the ranks and may soon overtake Fox Confessor), and I think she is one of those artists who gets better album after album. Over the years she has matured from punk to alt-country chanteuse to maybe the most beloved and idolized female singer of this era. Her songwriting is better than just about anyone’s. Neko Case’s second album Furnace Room Lullabye (credited to Neko Case & Her Boyfriends) is her twangiest, but you can see the strict country vibe being outgrown. Just around the edges, because this one is still very much rooted in the genre even though Case’s pipes very clearly illustrate that she can do anything she fucking wants. Just watch her propel some of those New Pornographers songs into pop majesty or look at the a capella standout of her latest album, “Nearly Midnight, Honolulu.” Neko Case pretty much embodies the term unfuckwithable. I’ve never met someone who knew who she was and wasn’t a fan. Even though I don’t think Furnace Room Lullabye is the best distillation of Case’s talents, I still think “Set Out Running” is one of the most gut-punch great songs I’ve ever heard, and it’s the song that began my long courtship with Case in the first place.
"Set Out Running"