HOP ALONG – ” Bark Your Head Off, Dog ” Best Albums Of 2018

Posted: April 9, 2018 in ALBUMS, MUSIC
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We got a small teaser of Hop Along’s new album when they opened for Conor Oberst at BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn! Festival in Prospect Park, a show they said they took a break from recording to play. Propelled by Frances Quinlain’s wild, raw voice, Hop Along really shine live, and they debuted a great-sounding new song at that show. Attendees of Cap’n Jazz’s House of Vans show in Chicago, which Hop Along opened, got to hear even more new material, and Frances promised new stuff at a few solo dates in October with Oberst and Tim Kasher. There hasn’t been much concrete info yet about Hop Along’s next album, but 2015’s Painted Shut was one of our favorite albums of the year, and we’re eager to hear Bark Your Head Off, Dog .

We are very happy to share our video for “How Simple” with you. Thank you to Derrick Belcham for his excellent work directing, and to all who were involved, this was a lot of fun to make.

What makes this album such a gratifying listen are the tensions Hop Along sets up: the ingenious interplay between the full band’s inviting hooks and abrasive progressions, between melodies you can sing along to and melodies you wouldn’t dare attempt, and between lead singer and lyricist Frances Quinlan’s sweet soprano and rugged rasp. Musically, everything bubbles to the surface and gasps for air, including, at times, Quinlan herself. Lyrically, Hop Along finds empathy for the Bible’s first murderer Cain (on “Not Abel”), illuminates the failures of false ideals in war (“Of course I am for peace, one that suits me”), and encapsulates the current cultural moment of untangling toxic masculinity in one perfect phrase (“So strange to be shaped by such strange men”).

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