Hop Along wrangles with sympathy and understanding in two parts on “Not Abel”


Hop Along
Hop Along | photo by Tonje Thilesen | courtesy of the artist
Philly’s Hop Along will release its latest LP, Bark Your Head Off, Dog, on April 6th via Saddle Creek Records, and today the band released the latest teaser from the album.

“Not Abel” is a journey of a song in two parts. Opening as a stately, waltzing English folk ballad with immaculate string arrangements by Sarah Larsen of local folk faves Ladybird, the song progresses across lyrical images of war and poverty that could be the distant past as much as they could be today. Just before the three minute mark, a dissonant orchestral squall gives way to a rousing indie rock riff, and the song shape shifts into anthem territory for the last minute and 36.

In a press release, frontwoman Frances Quinlan describes the song as a reflection on understanding those who seem to be in opposition to us, and the complications that can bring.

“Karl Ove Knausgaard wrote a great book called, A Time for Everything. I’d say it inspired a lot of little moments, in this song especially. At one point he writes about Cain and Abel, but approaches it with a far more intimate, even mundane lens, completely unlike the Bible, which is pretty bare of any personal description. As you spend a few days with them, Cain becomes increasingly sympathetic. It’s a funny thing trying to examine beliefs. Sympathy and understanding complicate everything too much I suppose.”

Listen to “Not Abel” below, and scan Hop Along’s spring tour dates, which include support from Saintseneca on the first leg and Bat Fangs on the second leg, with Ratboys teaming up with them for a show in Louisville, Kentucky.

In the middle of it all, Hop Along headlines a big hometown show at Union Transfer on Saturday, May 16th. No openers have been announced for that gig yet, but tickets and information on it can be found at the XPN Concert Calendar.

Tour Dates
3/15: Spicewood, TX @ Luck Reunion
5/1: Ithaca, NY @ The Haunt *
5/2: Holyoke, MA @ Gateway City Arts *
5/3: Boston, MA @ Royale *
5/5: Baltimore, MD @ Ottobar *
5/6: Richmond, VA @ The Broadberry *
5/7: Durham, NC @ Motorco Music Hall *
5/8: Asheville, NC @ The Grey Eagle Tavern & Music Hall *
5/10: Atlanta, GA @ Terminal West *
5/11: Birmingham, AL @ Saturn *
5/12: Nashville, TN @ Exit / In *
5/14: Indianapolis, IN @ The Hi-Fi *
5/15: Columbus, OH @ Ace of Cups *
5/19: Philadelphia, PA @ Union Transfer
5/30: Brooklyn, NY @ Brooklyn Steel # *
6/1: Portland, ME @ Port City Music Hall #
6/2: Montreal, QC @ Le Belmont #
6/3: South Burlington, VT @ Higher Ground #
6/5: Washington, DC @ 9:30 Club #
6/6: Pittsburgh, PA @ Spirit #
6/8: Toronto, ON @The Legendary Horseshoe Tavern #
6/9: Ferndale, MI @ The Loving Touch #
6/10: Chicago, IL @ Metro #
6/12: Milwaukee, WI @ Turner Hall #
6/13: St. Paul, MN @ Turf Club #
6/16: Kansas City, MO @ The Riot Room #
6/18: Dallas, TX @ Club Dada #
6/19: Austin, TX @ Barracuda #
6/20:Houston, TX @ White Oak Music Hall #
6/22: St. Louis, MO @ Delmar Hall
6/23: Louisville, KY @ Zanzabar @

* = Saintseneca supporting
# = Bat Fangs supporting
@ = Ratboys supporting



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