The career retrospective album, Wild Creatures pulls together the high points of feral joy from over twenty years of solo work by Neko Case. Guests include Margo Price, David Byrne, Shirley Manson and Allison Russell.
The 23 track Wild Creatures compilation is accompanied by an immersive website containing animated artwork by Laura Plansker and features short essays and track-by-track commentary celebrating Neko Case's two decades of solo work. The album’s one new song “Oh, Shadowless,” features an animated music video created by Plansker.
Contributors include long time collaborators A.C. Newman, Dan Bejar and M. Ward, culture-defining contemporaries David Byrne, Shirley Manson, Jeff Tweedy and Rosanne Cash, and new generations of artists like Waxahatchee, Julien Baker, Kevin Morby, Allison Russell and Margo Price. In addition, folklorist Adrienne Mayor, ANTI- Records president Andy Kaulkin, and longtime New Yorker staff writer and author Susan Orlean also contributed pieces, among many others.
Gathering power year after year, Neko sings with the fierce abandon of a newborn infant crying in a basket in the woods. Since escaping the labels of country and Americana, the gorgeous train-whistle vocals of her early career sit submerged in her later style, where their ghost can appear any minute. When her voice jumps an octave, it’s almost visible, like sparks at night. “I never knew where I wanted to go or what I wanted to do with my voice,” she says, “but I just wanted to do it so bad.”
In the studio, Neko obsesses over sound. Always involved with how her albums were recorded, she’s seized and embraced the role of producer. Standing halfway up a half-built stairway, she hammers nails into place as she goes along. Despite blowing every deadline she’s ever been given, Neko feels in her bones when a song or a project is done.
“Music is so weird,” she says, “because you never arrive where you’re going.” If her career were mapped, it might be a choose-your-own-adventure book. She hasn’t masterminded each album with some absolute endpoint in mind. “I’ve never been afraid to ask for help. I’m able to trust myself in the moments where I don’t know what’s going to happen.”