Aside from having a nice ring to it, if case/lang/veirs sounds rather familiar yet also unheard of, it is because this self-titled album is from a unique collaboration bringing together the sounds of established artists Neko Case, k.d. lang and Laura Veirs. Filled with the influences found in each of their individual ventures, case/lang/veirs is a product of two and a half years of writing and an eagerness to create an uninhibited collaborative record.
As seasoned story tellers, case/lang/veirs have joined forces in delivering 14 original songs. The opening track of this new venture, Atomic Number, sees all three come together for a strong folksy blend of unified vocals and strings arrangement. This sense of upbeat peppiness is once again brought into Best Kept Secret – its choral harmonies reinstating the initial drive behind the project – a desire to make music together. Each artist is given room to take lead, playing to their vocal range, an added strength brought to the album as we’re treated to moments of accordance with their use of high-spirited three part harmonies.
Lang takes lead on the delightfully sombre Blue Fires and Why Do We Fight, both of which are reflective of her early soulful background, yet there are obvious flickers of the lyrical and melodic influences of both Case and Veirs. In I Want to Be Here, their voices are once again equally unified in a track which showcases a new found sense of artistic union between the three; “the hungry fools who rule the world can’t catch us, surely they can’t ruin everything.”
The case/lang/veirs project started out with a simple email from k.d. lang to both Case and Veirs, simply stating “I think we should make a record together”. The trio appear to have taken a slightly unambitious approach to working together. Their simplistic approach is relayed on to the production and delivery of a record, which at its fullest is a one-off insight into a process which skillfully connects the characters of all three artists and is highly enjoyable.