Finding the box in which to place singer-songwriter Neko Case has proven perplexing for the Grammy Awards poobahs, and just about everyone else. She released her acclaimed seventh solo album in 2013 -- titled The Worse Things Get, The Harder I Fight, The Harder I Fight, The More I Love You -- and promptly earned a Grammy Award nomination in the Best Alternative Music Album category. Her preceding set, 2009's Middle Cyclone, earned the Alexandria, Va., native a nomination in the Best Contemporary Folk Album category. With her tendency to write folk-based songs with a bit of a loping beat, she's often refereed to as an Americana or alt-country artist, but her sound fits just as comfortably in the indie-rock singer-songwriter category. Further complicating matters is Case's longtime status as a member of Canadian indie supergroup The New Pornographers, with whom she's been known to belt out power-pop tunes.
Whatever you call her style, Case is a hit with fans and critics alike thanks to her poignant songwriting and her distinctive, smoky voice, which shines in concert. It's a combination that has fans flocking to buy tickets to see her on tour, where she's put the focus on the music while eschewing trappings like costume changes and fancy set designs.