Let's talk about Frances Quinlan's voice for a moment. In "Horseshoe Crab," she whispers with a rasp that feels small, yet embodies the fears we try not to name; then, she throws her head back to ask, "Who is gonna talk trash long after I'm gone?" That gut-punching howl shatters like a plate on a concrete floor.
Quinlan's singular voice is the focus, but not what ultimately completes Hop Along, a guitar-based rock band that messes with the soft-loud dynamic in busy and urgent arrangements that cull from their experiences in punk, hard rock and Americana groups. At the NPR Music offices, Hop Along plays songs from its new album Painted Shut, with guitarist Joe Reinhart swapping an electric for an acoustic, giving the band a country-tinged Nashville feel — especially in the punchy, poppy closer, "Sister Cities."
- "Horseshoe Crabs"
- "Sister Cities"
Producers: Lars Gotrich, Maggie Starbard; Editor: Morgan Walker; Audio Engineer: Brian Jarboe; Videographers: Colin Marshall, Maggie Starbard, Morgan McCloy; Assistant Producer: Michaela Gugliotta; photo by Maggie Starbard/NPR