Neko's High Notes

From alt-country to indie rock, a guide to Case's best tunes

Neko Case in 2009. Credit: Amy Sussman/Getty Images for The New Yorker

"Thrice All American,"
from Case's Furnace Room Lullaby, 2000

A rustic ballad about Tacoma, Washington, where the singer spent her teenage years. Case is in country mode and refers to "the gangs, guns and the crime" that roam the city's streets.

"Letter From an Occupant,"
from the New Pornographers' Mass Romantic, 2000
Case's clear-as-a-bell belt­ing fuels this driving pow­er-pop gem. The lyrics refer to memory and loss, and her delivery manages to balance brassiness and melancholy.

"Deep Red Bells,"
from Case's Blacklisted, 2002

One of Case's most memorable compositions, this eerie, twangy slice of folk noir is about the Washington-state serial murderer Gary Ridgway – a.k.a. the Green River Killer – whom Case feared as a teen.

"That Teenage Feeling,"
from Case's Fox Confessor Brings the Flood, 2006

A lilting Fifties-style pop song about not wanting to settle for less-than-inspiring romance. It builds to a gorgeous chorus, which she sings through only once.

"People Got a Lotta Nerve,"
from Case's Middle Cyclone, 2009

One of Case's catchiest songs ever, the chiming, Byrds-esque tune fea­tures lyrics that protest animal cruelty and a chorus that's sung from the point of view of a large, predatory beast.