[NATURAL WONDERS] It was clear from the start that Frances Quinlan possessed strange powers. Her early solo recordings—under the name Hop Along, Queen Ansleis—were tiny funhouses of sharp turns and wild vocal flights, and they evoked an alternate universe in which Devendra Banhart chose basement shows over Laurel Canyon languor. But Quinlan's magic didn't find its true home until 2009's Wretches EP, which found the songwriter dropping the "Queen Ansleis" and adding a band. The result was a raw document of forces colliding, and on the two albums that followed—2012's Get Disowned and last year's breakthrough Painted Shut—Hop Along made a case for itself as one of the world's most vital providers of guitar-based catharsis. The restless energy of early Built to Spill informs the band's compositions, and Quinlan's lyrical snapshots of small-town frustration wend through the bustle and tumult, riding a voice that can bend and mend hearts. Get owned.
Hop Along plays Sunday at 2:20 pm.
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