October 20, 2009
Hop Along played an apartment in Brooklyn
On Columbus Day weekend back in 2006 I was given an album entitled Freshman Year by a singer under the name Hop Along Queen Ansleis and it became one of the most sentimental albums of my college years. That was the one of the last weekends I would gather with my best friends from high school and the album was played on repeat. Three years later I was finally able to see Hop Along perform in a small intimate apartment in Bushwick Brooklyn. That album is a collective of background sounds layered under acoutic folkie guitar, however her recent demos have featured a backing band and I was very intrigued to see how this new lineup would relate to her older sounds. After three excellent performances from the other bands on the bill, Hop Along was accompanied by a drummer and bass player and began to perform her new renditions of which I can only seem to compare to Explosions in the Sky meets Band of Horses with female vocals. My friend Franny said it reminded her of Land of Talk. Either way Frances brought a rich lush sound that echoed throughout the small space and unfortunately overpowered her unique vocal styling; something that is always a problem at shows in spaces that size. This was one of the only sets from the night in which I felt the entire audience was engaged and had people singing along with Frances. She only played "Bride and Groom" off of Freshman Year, but it was performed with such perfection that it made the entire night worthwhile. After her brief set she announced she would perform a cover in dedication to the people she had been on the road with and then burst into Bush's "Glycerin" which happens to be a personal favorite of mine. The entire room erupted in a sing-a-long and provided the perfect end to an evening full of excellent truly independent music.