Neko Case - “Nearly Midnight, Honolulu”
Let’s set aside the song, for a moment. Neko Case’s voice is powerful enough on its own. Here, a capella, backed only by her own vocals overdubbed to harmonize, it’s clearly one of music’s most wonderful instruments.
But when you put her voice on this song (which might be better classified as a poem or short story), it’s chilling and it’s heartbreaking. And more heartbreaking, since it’s so detailed that it’s clearly based on a real event . And, I’m sure, it’s something that everyone can relate to in some way.
The thing is, as dark, as sad, as much of a gut punch as this song is, it ends with a silver lining. When Neko ends the song with “’cause I’ll still love you, even if I don’t see you again”, it’s such a simple, beautiful statement that you can’t help but feel a little bit of hope for the world.