Atomic Number

Album: case/lang/veirs (2016)
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Songfacts®:

  • The idea of a collaborative record between Neko Case, k.d. lang, and Laura Veirs was first floated in the early 2010s when lang sent Case and Veirs an email that said, "I think we should make a record together." Both lang and Case subsequently contributed to Veirs' 2013 album Warp and Weft.

    Both Lang and Veirs live in Portland, Oregon, which made writing and recording easier than it could have been. The record was laid down with Veirs' husband-producer Tucker Martine (Modest Mouse, My Morning Jacket), between lang's loft and Veirs' dining room and backyard studio.
  • This is the opening track of case/lang/veirs. Veirs told CBC Music: "This is the one song on the album where we trade lines back and forth. It's a great opening to the album for that reason. The listener gets to get a glimpse of each artist at the outset."
  • The trio croon on the hook:

    Latin words across my heart
    Symbols of infinity
    Elements so pure
    Atomic number


    Veirs said: "I like that I don't really know what the chorus means. This song at some level is about purity."
  • The trio wanted to call their band the Atomic Numbers, but the name was already taken. Veirs told Uncut: "We didn't want anything funny or genderized, it was really difficult. It's not like we didn't try, we spent hours and hours on names."

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