MUSIC

Frances Quinlan Reflects on the Definition of Love on "Now That I'm Back"

It's the Hop Along singer's second single from her forthcoming solo debut.

Julia Khorosilov

As the singer and primary songwriter of Philadelphia band Hop Along, Frances Quinlan has consistently solidified herself as an inimitable artist.

Whether it's in her poetic lyricism or raw, extensible voice, Quinlan is an un-ignorable force. It's these traits that have helped propel Hop Along into their prestigious place in the indie rock canon since their debut, 2012's Get Disowned, but it all started as the folksy solo project of Quinlan. Her first solo album was released in 2005 when she was a senior in high school, under the moniker Hop Along, Queen Ansleis. In January, Quinlan will release Likewise, her first solo LP under her own name.

"Now That I'm Back," Quinlan's second single off the album, diverts from the heavy guitar work familiar to Hop Along fans, instead driven by layered synths and a drumbeat that sounds electronically programmed. Though these instrumental elements might be new for Quinlan, her immediately-distinguishable voice still fits in well here. The track centers around her ever-evolving perception of love and how its definition transforms over time. "I find it mystifying that my idea of love has aged and changed right alongside me," Quinlan explained in a statement. "I'd always thought of love as something one is given, I didn't think much about my own capacity for love, for generosity. That's too bad, but now I understand a little better, I hope. At this point I think love is always there, it exists in the margins, one needs only to access it."

"Now That I'm Back" exemplifies Quinlan's flair for imagery and chilling metaphors. "Woman woke up early, heard a scraping near her brain/Imagine when the doc took out the roach / How much she must have changed," she sings, enrapturing us into a realm entirely her own. Even in all her otherworldly allusions, the final line tethers the song back to this universe: "Now that I'm back, we should try again to talk." Here, Quinlan continues to find her strength in the hidden meanings of her phrases.

Follow Frances Quinlan Facebook | Instagram | Twitter

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Bre Kennedy Dances Into The Future On "Slippin"

The Nashville singer-songwriter finds comfort in possibility on her debut single.

Bre Kennedy

"I wanna keep collecting moments," Bre Kennedy confesses in "Slippin."

And maybe it's that small revelation of a line that best embodies the shimmering sincerity of her debut. Premiering on Popdust just in time for International Women's Day, Kennedy's new track exudes a natural frankness refreshing in modern pop.

"Slippin" is the first single off of Kennedy's upcoming EP, Jealous Of Birds, and already makes an engaging argument for Bre Kennedy's presence on your playlist. Kennedy's voice, switching effortlessly from soft verses to an anthemic chorus, smoothly blends the folk and country influences brought from her roots in the Nashville music scene. It's clear that Kennedy knows herself as a songwriter first: her lyrics weave in and out of the music effortlessly, unfolding the song naturally to the listener.

It's a rare thing to hear a pop song that embraces ambiguity as willingly as "Slippin" does. Kennedy reflects on past loves, the feeling of your own life leaving you behind, and the intimidating openness of the road ahead. But instead of giving in to doubts, she finds a foothold in uncertainty, genuine comfort in the possibilities of the future. She's not without her anxieties, but "Slippin" sees these as mere stepping stones in her journey. As a narrator, she's achingly relatable and as a new artist, she's more than ready for the spotlight.


Matthew Apadula is a writer and music critic from New York. His work has previously appeared on GIGsoup Music and in Drunk in a Midnight Choir.


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