Exclaim!'s Top 10 Folk & Country Albums Best of 2016



 
4. case/lang/veirs
case/lang/veirs
(Anti-)

Let's face it — most collaborative albums are known to be largely disappointing. For every Dolly, Linda and Emmylou there are a dozen Dylan & the Deads. So what makes the union of Neko Case, k.d. lang and Laura Veirs work so damn wonderfully? It may be because the trio never seem the least bit interested in being in a supergroup, as they find themselves rather content working to each other's strengths, crafting something that sounds equally comfortable and invigorating. 
 
Their 14-track debut manages to avoid sounding bloated, as Case, lang and Veirs possess enough musical intelligence to find the simplicity and beauty essential to each track — even the superb group of musical collaborators (including Wilco's Glenn Kotche, Soul Coughing's Sebastian Steinberg and producer Tucker Martine) serve the songs the way old-time session players were accustomed to. Expertly showcasing Case's from-the-rafters delivery, lang's vintage aesthetic and Veirs' emotional versatility, case/lang/veirs comes off as the sound of three superstars, not one supergroup.
Daniel Sylvester