Neko Case doesn’t put out albums too often; when she does, they tend to be excellent. The alt-country singer-songwriter, also known for her work with the New Pornographers, announced last week that she will soon release her next probably excellent album—her first since 2009’s Middle Cyclone—under the long, Fiona Apple-esque title The Worse Things Get, the Harder I Fight, the Harder I Fight, the More I Love You.
The new album—for which Case also released a trailer last week—isn’t out for three months, but you can now listen to the album’s first single, “Man,” below.
Lyrically, “Man” is a sort of sequel to “I’m an Animal,” this time with Case identifying herself in terms of gender. “I’m a man,” Case declares over frantic drums and fuzzy guitars, “… it’s what kind of animal I am.” She calls herself a man as a way to declare her own toughness and self-sufficiency (“bullies were no match for me/ I still taste them in my teeth,” she sings), but the gender-bending single (see also its art, in the video above) is ultimately a testament to the strength and equality of women: “A woman’s heart is the watermark by which I measure everything,” she sings early on, and then, “You didn’t know what a man was until I showed you.”
The song also features guitarist M. Ward, one of many guest performers on the album. Others include Mudhoney guitarist Steve Turner, singer-songwriter Howe Gelb, and members of My Morning Jacket, Calexico, Visqueen, Los Lobos, and the New Pornographers.