Casey Neill has come a long way since he emerged as a young folk singer in the mid-90s. He and his band, The Norway Rats, released their newest album, “Subterrene,” earlier this year. That record, a collection of songs that Neill has described as a “dystopian romance” story, is his strongest release to date — and by far his most adventurous. “Subterrene” is gritty, all electric and full of fascinating lyrical content inspired by everything from the novels of Ursula K. Le Guin to English punk band X-Ray Spex.

Neill and bandmates Jenny Conlee, Joe Mengis, Jesse Emerson and Chet Lyster performed in front of a live audience at Kelly’s Olympian in downtown Portland and chatted with us about the new release.