This Tornado Loves You

Album: Middle Cyclone (2009)

Songfacts®:

  • Unusually for Neko Case, Middle Cyclone contains a number of love songs. On this number, the part-time New Pornographer compares love to a destructive tornado. She told Paste Magazine that "since Fox Confessor, I'd said a lot that I don't write love songs—I just don't like to do it. But I ended up writing lots of love songs. If you say you don't want to do something, you're going to contradict yourself later. It always happens. They're still not traditional love songs, but they're love songs nonetheless."
  • The premise of this song was inspired by a dream. Case told Paste Magazine: "I had a dream one night about a tornado. It was a really interesting dream, and ever since then I've been thinking about them. I realized that a lot of the songs have tornadoes in them without even realizing that I was doing that." She added: "It's a literal story about a tornado in love with a person. That's what the dream was about. It wasn't me that the tornado was in love with; it was kind of a kid. But yeah, it was a strange story. But I was pretty moved by it."
  • Middle Cyclone is devoted to the theme of nature and various types of hurricanes. Case explained to the A.V.Club why: " I think I just have an empathy for nature in general, which I think is why I've kind of branched out into not just animals, but also weather. [Laughs.] Getting into weather these days, you know, tornadoes. I think that the more human you realize you are, the more of an animal you realize you are—meaning that it's okay to not have all the answers. It's a very Faustian kind of thing—like when Faust asks the minion of the devil to tell him the meaning of life and love, and the devil and the minion go, "Well, Faust, I could tell you that, but your human brain is so small that you wouldn't get it, so I'm not going to waste my time." That seems like a really terrible thing, but it's actually a huge relief. It makes you more forgiving of mankind, and I think it really opens the floodgates of compassion."
  • Case recorded this song, along with "Polar Nettles," and Harry Nilsson's "Don't Forget Me" on her 100-acre farm in rural Vermont. She filled the farm's 230-year-old barn with eight pianos she'd salvaged and recorded a piano orchestra with her friends. Case explained to the A.V.Club why she went for the epic production: "Well that one was one of the instances where more was better. Sometimes it's good to overdo it, and sometimes it's good to understate it. I guess just figuring out the difference sometimes is as different as night and day. You'll be thinking about it for four months, like 'Why is this not working?' and then you suddenly one day are eating a scone, and you go, 'Oh, I know what to do.' And it's that easy."

Comments: 3

  • John from Los Angeles, CaThere are not enough songs about how overwhelming, and sometimes destructive, true love can be. One of her best.
  • Dave from Leesburg, VaI love how she says "Acrost your sheets" like a child might.
  • Theresa from Murfreesboro, TnThis song made me a Neko Case, gorgeous and haunting love song.
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