Sometimes simple is best. As genres diversify and become complicated through this diversity it’s nice to be able to call a spade a shovel.
Listening to Painted Shut by Phiadelphia’s Hop Along the first things to note are:
- it’s a quality album
- female vocals are ‘in’
- it’s an indie album. No complications here, just pure and unadulterated indie
Opening number The Knock gets straight to business with Frances Quinlan’s vocals jumping immediately in. Ranging from sugary sweet to an almost banshee-like howl her vocals enrapture you throughout the whole album.
Joininmg Quinlan are Mark Quinlan, Tyler Long and Joe Reinhart on drums, bass and guitar respectively. Together the four of them have made their second album a gem that you’ll have on repeat for a long time to come.
Horseshoe Crabs illustrates that they don’t create indie-by-numbers. A piano riff is joined by equal parts an understated yet funky bass and delicate guitar licks.
Texas Funeral is another foot-tapper in waiting. Quinlan’s vocals again take centre stage with superb rythmic tooing and froing. The refrain of “none of this is ever gonna happen to me” is one of the most defiant calls I’ve heard for a while.
The indieness continues apace with Powerful Man, and as you progress through Painted Shut you’ll catch yourself thinking in terms of “The American answer to The Cribs”.
Safe enough to say then that Painted Shut should be on many an album of the year list, and should be an essential purchase.
Painted Shut by Hop Along is released on Saddle Creek and is available now.