Being my first trip to What We Talk About in Allston (totally just lost tons of hipster cred right there…woops), I wasn’t quite sure what to expect when I arrived, and I also wasn’t quite sure where in the hell this thing was taking place. Once I gathered my bearings and found the right room (thanks to a few kind hipsters standing outside who realized I had no idea where I was going), I knew it was going to be a good night. The first band to take a turn at the front of the room, whose name escapes me now, apparently formed only 5 days prior and the third band, who seemed to have plenty of fans in the house, just wasn’t our style.
What we were there for though was Boston mainstays Hallelujah The Hills and Hop Along, who had travelled from Philly to grace us with tunes from their new album Get Disowned. Of course HtH did not disappoint, as their energetic blend of folk-rock, synth, and brass is always sure to get the crowd moving. They seemed so excited to play for the small audience that I feared trumpet/trombone player Brian Rutledge would hit his head on the low ceilings while jumping along to the beat on nearly every song. Now that’s what I call getting your $7 worth for a show, and there were still two more bands to follow.
When Hop Along did take to the stage (err, the microphones at the front of the room) the crowd was immediately entranced. Lead singer Frances Quinlan started the set with “Some Grace,” the lead track from Get Disowned, and from there coursed through songs new and old along with her brother Mark on drums and Tyler Long on bass. What is most striking about the group as anyone who has listened or will listen can tell you, is Frances Quinlan’s vocals. Her voice is strained yet strong at the same time, seemingly out of tune yet oh so sweet in your headphones. I can’t explain it in a cohesive or concise way, except for oddly angelic. I know you must be intrigued by now, so check out Hop Along on our August 2012 Spotify Playlist and make sure that you catch them in a city near you on their fall tour.