Frances Quinlan has one of the most instantly recognizable voices in indie rock. As the lead singer of Philadelphia band Hop Along, she’s been at the front of two of this decade’s best rock albums, 2014’s Painted Shut, which landed on Paste’s best albums of the 2010s list, and 2018’s Bark Your Head Off, Dog, one of our favorite albums of that year. Her voice is a raspy force that touches on everything from punk to freak-folk.
Hop Along originally began as Quinlan’s solo project, but today she’s announcing her first-ever solo album under her own name, Likewise (out Jan. 31, 2020, on Saddle Creek). The first single, “Rare Thing,” is a real stunner and surely a harbinger of things to come. Listen to it below.
“Rare Thing” ropes in a host of new instruments that we maybe haven’t heard previously on a Hop Along release—synths, jammy keyboards, a harp, bouncy electro-beats. The song was written after a dream Quinlan had about her then-infant niece, per a press release, but it could really be about anybody’s journey to letting new love in. “You took my hand and introduced me to everybody / I watched as you were named on that February morning,” she sings, before adding a more universal realization: “I know there is love that / doesn’t have to do with / taking something from somebody.” The song ends almost abruptly, with Quinlan confessing, “Through the window you look out at me / I have to stop myself and admit you make me happy.” All’s well that ends well.
Quinlan recorded the album with her Hop Along bandmate Joe Reinhart, who encouraged her to explore new sounds, at The Headroom studio in Philly.
“Working with Joe on this made me able to better see that the guitar is just one vehicle … there are so many others to explore,” Quinlan said in a statement.
Again, you can listen to “Rare Thing” below, then keep scrolling for the Likewise album art and tracklist, plus Quinlan’s tour dates. Likewise is available for preorder right here.
Likewise Album Art:
1. Piltdown Man
2. Your Reply
3. Rare Thing
4. Detroit Lake
5. A Secret
6. Went to LA
8. Now That I’m Back
9. Carry the Zero (Built To Spill cover)
Frances Quinlan 2020 Tour Dates:
19 – Chicago, Ill. @ Tomorrow Never Knows Festival at Sleeping Village
01 – San Francisco, Calif. @ Noise Pop at Swedish American Music Hall
03 – Portland, Ore. @ Doug Fir
05 – Seattle, Wash. @ Columbia City Theater
12 – Los Angeles, Calif. @ Pico Union Project
14 – San Diego, Calif. @ Casbah