Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Hop Along {with}, Queen Ansleis

take everything you've ever thought about girls with guitars and throw it out the window. i think i can confidently say that if you were to listen to only one of the bands i've written about in the last few months...i would recommend Hop Along, Queen Ansleis. in a world where seemingly every female songwriter is a genetic splice of sarah mclaughlan, jewel, and ani defranco; Hop Along's Francis Quinlan is a mutation that Darwin would hold to his heart and praise as the paragon of natural selection.

brash as it may seem, these opinions come from hearing only 6 of her songs. 4 on her myspace, and 2 more on her pure volume site. The 2005 release "Freshman Year" is on my list of things to buy, along with one of Chris Eaton's novels (check out Dave's post on Rock Plaza Central), a new tire (to replace my slashed one, those bastards) and pay a parking ticket, most likely all purchased in that order.

Whereas the gene pool of Mclaughlan-DiFranco monsters jump up and down the vocal registers to show how pretty and versatile their female voices are, Quinlan puts them all to shame without really trying to. sometimes she whelps, other times its almost a cry, and here and there she hops octaves into a beatiful falsetto; often times all of those and more jammed into one 3 minute song, creating a consistently up-tempo melody and showing her exceptional talent. yet in no way will you think she does it as a fanfare of her skills. the songs are humble and fragile, they might shatter into pieces if you stop listening, yet they burst out of the speakers with energy and excitment about her seemingly infinitely loving family, bonzai trees and spinach.

while frances' voice is a dominant force in the songs, often times with 4 or 5 distinct vocal tracks all happening at once, its not the only noteworthy sound going on. her brothers and friends contribute to the recordings on banjos, drums and kitchen utensil percussion creating a delightful sound that i envision can only come from a warm, sunlit room where you can see the dust particles in the air and everything in there has been placed in its location for some specific reason, which may or may not make itself known and that doesn't really matter.

maybe i'll do a follow-up post once i get the album. but if not, go to her myspace and copy down her address in brooklyn and send her $10 and wait as the days crawl by like a millipeed with a blister on every foot until it gets to you. there's only one song available for download, which i will post at the bottom, the others you will have to stream from her myspace and purevolume.

i fall in love with her all over again everytime a new verse starts.

i'm only posting one mp3 out of lack of having anymore than one, but my suggested tracks would be "Of My Brothers..." off her myspace and "Bruno is Orange" on her purevolume.

mp3: the bonzai tree u bought 4 me


ARTIFACT said...

Hop Along Queen Ansleis is a treasure! I have written several articles about her and also have the awesome track "Sebastian From A Friend" featured on my myspace. so for those waiting for the CD enjoy!

notanothergeek said...

This gal played with Parwana two New Years ago, it was fantastic, you should check out DRAGONZORD as well.

Tim said...

holy shit, that's awesome that you guys played with Hop Along, where was it? can you get her back to the area? we've got a bunch of shows that we could put her on.
and, yeah, dragonzord is pretty awesome. i stumbled upon it one day last year.


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