"3 solo artists describe the ‘excellent exercise' of musical collaboration" PBS NewsHour 8/8/2016
SUMMARY: They were used to being in charge of their own voices, their own lyrics, their own paths. But recently, singers Neko Case, K.D. Lang and Laura Veirs put autonomy aside to form a single group. The goal was to create a new album containing only songs they wrote together. Though the collaboration proved challenging, it has paid off with a successful tour, critical praise and an artistic “family.”
JEFFREY BROWN (NewsHour): The pre-performance huddle in which three singer-songwriters with successful solo careers morph into one group.
Neko Case, K.D. Lang, and Laura Veirs become Case/Lang/Veirs.
The collaboration was the brainchild of Lang, who wanted to form what she calls a:
K.D. LANG, Case/Lang/Veirs: Folk punk girl group.
JEFFREY BROWN: The three women released an album earlier this summer. We spoke before a recent performance at the Lincoln Theatre in Washington, D.C.
K.D. LANG: I didn't know if it was going to work, but I thought it would be interesting. And I love these two artists as individual sources of great inspiration.
So one day, I just had the instinct to call them, to e-mail them, and they wrote back in half-an-hour.
JEFFREY BROWN: The Canadian-born Lang, now 54, is the senior member of the band, and probably best known to the wider public, selling two million copies of her 1992 album, “Ingenue.”
Neko Case, 45, has been a mainstay of indie rock and country music since the late '90s, both as a solo artist and with the band the New Pornographers; 42-year-old Laura Veirs, known for mixing classic country and folk, has turned out a range of work, from a children's record, to a film soundtrack, to her 2013 album, “Warp and Weft,” which included contributions from Case and Lang.
The three made an important decision from the start, that they would write only original songs for this effort, and write them together as much as possible.
NEKO CASE, Case/Lang/Veirs: I often start with lyrics, and I try to make sure that they're accessible, but slightly off.
And Laura uses a lot of alternate tunings as a guitar player. And she comes up with incredible melodies. You know, when you first hear them, they seem familiar to you. And then you sing them or play them, and you realize they're on a completely different level, like something familiar is so completely brand-new. And the different languages take you outside of your comfort zone.
LAURA VEIRS, Case/Lang/Veirs: How do you meld minds to come up with something that's cohesive and make a record that sounds like it's not like a variety show or piecemeal? So, it was a really hard project for us.