Hop Along is an indie folk/indie rock/grunge revival quartet from Philadelphia. The siblings Frances (vocals/guitar) and Mark Quinlan (drums) are joined by Tyler Long (bass) and Joe Reinhart (guitar). They all came from suburban Philly, and the band formed in 2008. Prior to that, Frances had a similarly named solo project while she was still in high school. She released one album called Freshman Year, and the full band released their debut album Get Disowned in the spring of 2012. Just a couple of weeks ago, they released their sophomore long player via Saddle Creek Records.
I had never heard of this band until I recently saw the album listed at #3 on a “best ‘under the radar’ indie records of 2015 so far”. I already had most of the albums on that list, and I was surprised that an “indie rock” album with a metacritic score of 87 had indeed slipped completely under my radar. In fact, it was the only album on that list of 33 that I had never heard of. I was intrigued by that, and without knowing anything at all about the band, I found a couple of songs to listen to. As you probably guessed, it didn’t take long for “Texas Funeral” to win me over.
In a lot of ways, I was reminded of the Vancouver duo Drawn Ship. Something about the particular kind of noise. Although Frances Quinlan’s voice is raspier and fried more than that of Lyn Heinemann from Drawn Ship, there’s a similarity there as well. It’s unpolished and unapologetic. I love it.
I’ve listened to the album a couple of times, and this is one of the songs that I keep coming back to.
“Texas Funeral” by Hop Along
This song has some elements of shoegaze, some elements of indie-folk, punk, and others. Mostly, though, it’s just good old-fashioned “indie rock”. I love Frances’ Kim Deal-esque howling, especially during the “None of this is gonna happen to me within my lifetime” parts. I’m also impressed by Mark’s tumbling drum bits in the bridges.
I seriously can’t get enough of this song. I’m not wild about the band’s name, but they made a really good record in Painted Shut. Check it out, and play it loud.
You can buy Painted Shut in your favorite format from the Saddle Creek web store here.