Neko Case: Newport Folk 2009 Case's latest album, Middle Cyclone, has more of a pop sound than her previous efforts. There's still plenty of country heartbreak and sorrow, but the melodies seem brighter.

Neko Case: Newport Folk 2009

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Neko Case is the kind of singer-songwriter who uses the heart as a hood ornament. She howls with all the hurt and love she can muster, then flashes a clever lyric that induces a double-take. In performance, she's as captivating as she is charming. With a killer live band and a great backing vocalist (the ever-versatile Kelly Hogan), Case brought her songs to the Fort Stage at Folk Festival 50 on Sunday.

Maybe it's a product of her time with The New Pornographers, but Case's latest album, Middle Cyclone, sounds significantly poppier than her previous efforts. That's not to say there isn't plenty of countrified heartbreak and sorrow; just that the melodies seem brighter, even if the lyrics don't always reflect as much. This time around, she's squarely focused on weather, nature and the storms that surround us.

Set List

  • "Things That Scare Me"
  • "Sparrow"
  • "People Got a Lotta Nerve"
  • "Fever"
  • "Animal"
  • "Teenage Feeling"
  • "Hold On, Hold On"
  • "Middle Cyclone"
  • "Pharaohs"
  • "Tigers"
  • "Wish I Was the Moon"
  • "Polar Nettles"
  • "Red Tide"
  • "Don't Forget Me"
  • "This Tornado Loves You"
  • "Vengeance"

Encore: "Train From KC"

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