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HOP ALONG How Simple gets 9/10

Hop Along
How Simple
Barely Dressed/Remote Control

9/10

Philadelphia songwriter Frances Quinlan played solo under the moniker Hop Along, Queen Ansleis when she released her debut album in 2005. Since then she has expanded into a full blown band and softened the name to Hop Along. The band’s last two records have been indie-rock majesty and imminent album Bark Your Head Off, Dog is bound to shift quicker than freshly baked cronuts.

The first taster comes in the form of pop nugget How Simple. Quinlan would have to have the most recognisable voice in music, managing to sound elfish despite her underlying rasp. How Simple is one of her more restrained vocal efforts, yet maintains its character and passion.

Joe Reinhart dishes up some stellar winding guitar parts that range from understated runs to up front ear benders. How Simple is as sonically layered as the band have been (the inclusion of strings being unexpected), while also being the one of Hop Along’s most pop oriented numbers. The refrain of “don’t worry, we will both find out, just not together” has festival singalong written all over it.

Hop Along have every right to be one of the buzz bands on the year if How Simple is anything to go by.

CHRIS HAVERCROFT

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