In today’s music climate, it’s often beneficial for an artist to fit themselves into a mold rather than make their own. It’s a reason why performers like Neko Case present a refreshing alternative to any cookie-cutter mentality. It’s Case’s individuality — her willingness to just be herself — that has allowed her to seem perfectly at ease in a number of bands, genres and venues. She doesn’t need to put on airs, she doesn’t assign herself a genre, and her cult following trails her wherever she goes because of that genuineness.
That individuality has been Case’s calling card for most of her life. At 15, she left her parents and began her career pounding the drums for a variety of punk rock bands in her hometown of Tacoma, Washington. She did roots rock and country covers, put out critically-acclaimed solo albums as a 20-something, and became a key piece in indie rock supergroup The New Pornographers when they formed in 2003. She still records with TNP, and in 2009 her album Middle Cyclone hit No. 1 in the US.
Case’s killer voice, her songwriting prowess and her fiery red hair and good looks have made indie kids everywhere swoon when they hear her sing live. It’s a feeling I had when I watched her in the rain at the Nelsonville Music Festival last month, and it’s one I anticipate will strike me again when I see her in Union Park at the Pitchfork Music Festival in July.
Pitch to Fit is a series highlighting the acts performing at 2011′s Pitchfork Music Festival. For more information visit pitchforkmusicfestival.com