You will never hear anyone accuse Neko Case of “phoning it in.” She’s the kind of singer about whom there’s no doubt that she’s passionate about her craft, belting out a modern combination of Patsy Cline and Loretta Lynn. The alt-country chanteuse returned here from a three-year break, and continued the slow, graceful distancing of herself from those backwoods roots by experimenting a little more as she had on each release. This time around she employed a “piano orchestra” for several songs recorded in the barn on the farm she’d just bought, and a 30-plus minute track of ambient noise composed solely of tree frogs from her nearby pond — the same frogs that kept interrupting those piano recordings. The track rounded out the album. Now that just sounds nice, doesn’t it?
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