Sensational New Music From Neko Case And From Leon Bridges

Neko Case – “Hell-On”

Whenever I hear Neko Case I picture in my mind’s eye one of those goddesses carved on the mastheads of ancient warships, red locks flowing, brandishing a spear, and holding the power to bring grown men to their knees. Such is the strength of her voice, simply one of the more remarkable ones on the planet. Her distinctive timbre can stretch from wall-shaking punch down to the sweetest coo, sometimes in the same song. She could make any band sound better, as is the case with her part-time membership in The New Pornographers, but her powerhouse pipes are at their best when they carry her own material.

Case is a gifted songwriter who can turn somewhat unusual song structures into deceptively simple melodies, and who can combine fanciful imagery with deeply personal honesty to create some real powerful lyrics, and all of this goodness is on display in her new song “Hell-On”. It’s the title track from an album arriving on June 1, her first new album in five years, and it’s a pretty compelling meditation on the relationship between humans, the natural world and “God”. This is clearly an artist who continues to grow, and I can’t wait to hear the album.

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Leon Bridges – “Bad Bad News”

The last time we talked about Leon Bridges we were putting his debut album on our list of best albums of 2015 (man, time flies when you’re having fun). We loved the contemporary edge he put on old-timey Rhythm & Blues, re-imagining what could have been a retro act into something fresh and exciting. Well he’s got a new album called Good Times coming out on May 4, and like any good artist he is turning the page on past successes and exploring new territory. This time around he’s combining contemporary R&B with Seventies Jazz-Rock, and it’s one of the grooviest things we’ve heard in a while, complete with a very sweet George Benson-esque guitar solo. You’ve got to have the right feel to combine styles so credibly, and this guy’s definitely got it.




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