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NonCOMM Recap: Hop Along display jaw-dropping range on the PRX stage

Hop Along | photo by Senia Lopez for WXPN | www.senialopez.photography

Hometown heroes Hop Along have been doing laps around Philly lately. Since releasing Bark Your Head Off, Dog on April 6 on Saddle Creek, the band played a Free at Noon set that same day, a sold-out surprise show at Johnny Brenda’s the following night, and have returned to the city after the first leg of tour in support of their third LP. The band plays Union Transfer this Saturday, May 19, a gig that’s been sold out for a minute now. Thankfully after the month-long tour, the band was still able to deliver a kick-ass set to the upstairs NonCOMM crowd Thursday night. Lead singer Frances Quinlan noted how nice it was to be back in Philadelphia: “It’s lovely, we just got home from tour yesterday.”

The XPN faves opened with “How Simple,” the lead track on their latest release plus one of our favorite music videos of the year so far. The track’s grooving tempo lead the crowd into an early-set dance party. Among the other four tracks to be performed from Bark Your Head OffDog, “How Simple” displayed the new direction the band took with their fourth album. Continue reading →

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Listen to Hop Along’s Frances Quinlan in conversation with Talia Schlanger of World Cafe

Hop Along | photo by Ashley Gellman for WXPN | agellmanphotos.com

We couldn’t go more than a few weeks without sharing some more Hop Along news. When the band released their new record Bark Your Head Off, Dog earlier this month, they stopped by World Cafe Live to play Free at Noon, cramming four new songs into their short, 25-minute set. Hop Along appeared on and disappeared from the stage so quickly that day that we couldn’t help but want more. Well, here’s more — Hop Along’s performance was recorded for a World Cafe session, and later that same day, bandleader Frances Quinlan found some time to sit down with Talia Schlanger for an in-depth interview. The session aired last week and is available to stream below via NPR Music. Continue reading →

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Free at Noon Flashback: Hop Along powers through an record-release day teaser of Bark Your Head Off, Dog

Hop Along | photo by Ashley Gellman for WXPN | agellmanphotos.com

It seems like Hop Along is the busiest band in the world these days. They’ve been steadily rolling out singles from their new album Bark Your Head Off, Dog since January, and today that new record is finally out. Lucky for us, ahead of their quickly sold-out record release show tomorrow night, the band found time to stop by World Cafe Live for the second act of today’s Free at Noon doubleheader.

Hop Along has been a favorite of the Philly scene for quite some time — as vocalist/guitarist Frances Quinlan pointed out, she’s been playing under some variation of the band’s name for about 13 years. “That’s as old as an eighth grader,” Quinlan said, adding that Hop Along is having a much better eighth grade year than she did.

And after today’s show, we can certainly confirm that. This was Hop Along’s first hometown show since their appearance at last year’s XPN Fest, and the first time we’ve heard songs from the incredible new record live. It was also their first time performing as a five-piece — the band recently added Thin Lips’ Chrissy Tashjian as their touring guitarist/keyboardist.

All of that made for quite a gripping performance. Continue reading →

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Shhhhh, don’t tell anyone, but Hop Along is kicking off tour with an intimate Johnny Brenda’s show on Saturday

Hop Along | photo by Tonje Thilesen | courtesy of the artist
Hop Along | photo by Tonje Thilesen | courtesy of the artist

It’s a good week in the world of Hop Along. The Philly indie rockers’ hotly anticipated fourth LP Bark Your Head Off, Dog is officially out this Friday, via Saddle Creek Records — you can even get an early taste of the album right now via NPR Music’s First Listen. (Brace yourself for repeat listens.)

Now, in addition to the band’s appearance in WXPN’s Free At Noon concert series on album release day, the band just announced a Saturday night throwdown at Johnny Brenda’s, the Fishtown music pub near and dear to the band’s hearts. Hop Along played a tremendous New Year’s Eve show there back in 2014, and frontwoman Frances Quinlan has taken the stage solo acoustic numerous times over the past few years. (She also just worked her last shift in the restaurant this past Saturday before heading out on a long run of touring.) Continue reading →

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Nervous Dater and Eight will open for Hop Along at Union Transfer this May; Hop Along will play Free at Noon next week

Hop Along
Hop Along | photo by Tonje Thilesen | courtesy of the artist

Anticipation for Hop Along‘s triumphant return is building quickly. The band has now shared three singles from their forthcoming album Bark Your Head Off, Dog — if you haven’t already been listening to “How Simple,” “Not Abel,” and “Prior Things,” I kindly suggest that you do that right now. The full album comes out next Friday, April 6. Continue reading →

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Soak up Hop Along’s six minute song “Prior Things” in all its glory

Hop Along | photo by Tonje Thilesen | courtesy of the artist
Hop Along | photo by Tonje Thilesen | courtesy of the artist

The beginning of the new song “Prior Things” makes you pause and think “Whoa, this is Hop Along?” But by now we should be used to the band throwing unexpected twists and turns our way — and when Frances Quinlan starts to sing about fifteen seconds in, there’s no mistaking that this is Philly’s favorite band in full force. Continue reading →

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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. Continue reading →

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Hop Along’s Bark Your Head Off, Dog is out in April; they’ll celebrate May 19th at Union Transfer

Hop Along
Hop Along | photo by Tonje Thilesen | courtesy of the artist

If you’ll excuse us for a bit, we’re just going to have this new Hop Along song on repeat for the rest of the day.

“How Simple” is the first taste we’re getting of Bark Your Head Off, Dog — the band’s latest album, out April 4th on Saddle Creek Records. It’s got a brisk pace and soaring leads, a disco beat and handclap breakdowns. The outro hook, delivered gang vocal style, will be in our head all day: “Don’t worry, we will both find out, just not together.” Continue reading →

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XPN Fest Recap: Wilco jams, Conor Oberst rages and Hop Along smokes to wrap XPNFest day one

Wilco | photo by Jeremy Zimmerman for WXPN

There was a lot of pent-up energy in the air last night as the XPNFest crowd settled in for the headlining BB&T Pavilion show. Was it going to rain or no? Would all the shifting around of sets and times throw a wrench in the festival works? Was that ominous flock of Canada geese going to go at it with the crowd on the lawn?

The answers: no, no and no. The show was kicked off by an explosive 30 minute set from Hop Along, sauntered through a powerful mix of Bright Eyes and solo tunes from Conor Oberst and was capped by a 95-minute jammer by Wilco — shorter than their usual fare, but nevertheless satisfying. Continue reading →

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Conor Oberst, Hop Along, and Big Thief cut to the feeling at BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn

Conor Oberst performing
Conor Oberst at BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn | photo by Scott Troyan for WXPN | scotttroyan.com

Before bringing the show to XPoNential Music Fest on Friday, Conor Oberst kicked off a weeklong tour with Philly’s Hop Along last Thursday in Brooklyn,playing the BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn Festival. The outdoor show took place at the Prospect Park Bandshell on a hot July night. Continue reading →