When Neko Case releases Hell-On this summer, it'll be her first solo album in five years. But the singer has kept busy in that time, popping up on a pair of New Pornographers records and launching case/lang/veirs, her supergroup with k.d. lang and Laura Veirs. So it's no wonder that Hell-On's early singles — the title track and the new "Bad Luck" are all that have come out so far — find the powerhouse singer resetting herself a bit.
The first self-produced Neko Case record (and seventh overall), Hell-On was recorded in the midst of worldwide unrest, a string of high-profile natural disasters and the destruction of Case's home in a fire. In fact, Case got word of that last catastrophe — she was overseas at the time — just hours before she recorded "Bad Luck," whose words proved apropos.
After reciting an assortment of colorful missteps and mishaps — the sort of unironic-but-unfortunate stuff Alanis Morissette might have described as "ironic" — Case sums up what turns out to be a pretty healthy way to look at misfortune: "It's not as bad as I thought it would be / But it's still pretty bad luck."