When Neko Case talks about all the places she’s lived, she does so with a contagious enthusiasm. Her recent move to a farmhouse on 100 acres in rural Vermont is no exception. “I’m so excited about the farm, I can’t even tell you,” she says, all the way across the country in Tucson, Ariz., where she's mixing her forthcoming album, Middle Cyclone. “I love the neighbors. I love the towns nearby. The food is incredible. I’m looking forward to walking around the farm every day. It’s like living in a park—lovely air everywhere and trees and fresh water.”
But the dairy cows that once roamed the pastures are long gone, and the Morgan horses that lived in the barn are now buried underneath the orchard. Instead, the 18th-century structure houses pianos. Lots of them. “We decided it would be really hilarious to see how many free pianos we could get off of Craigslist,” she says. “I was like, ‘Well, I have a barn.’ I ended up with eight, and that’s when I came up with the idea for the piano orchestra.”
The “orchestra”—Case, along with various friends and her New Pornographers bandmates—appears on three songs on Middle Cyclone. The album, her fifth studio LP, also features the farm’s chorus of frogs on final track “Marais La Nuit.” Aside from her new digs, Paste wondered what else this redheaded songwriter loves. So we asked her.
17 Things I Love, by Neko Case
Catching Up With... Neko Case