Frances Quinlan reflects on loose connections in “Your Reply”
Hop Along frontperson and songwriter Frances Quinlan makes her solo debut in a few short weeks with Likewise, a nine-song album coming out on Saddle Creek Records, and we here at The Key are counting down the days.
With the swift electropop of “Rare Thing” and the contemplative “Now That I’m Back” already giving us a picture of the album’s eclectic range, the new “Your Reply” finds a path between the two. Set to jaunty acoustic indiepop instrumentation — with Joe Reinhart on bass and drums and Quinlan playing a bright piano lead — it recalls a bit of Belle & Sebastian (think “Jonathan David” and “Seeing Other People”) as well as Jens Lekman and the more down-to-earth moments of The Decemberists.
Quinlan’s singular voice is the focal point of this song, as it is with all of her music, and in “Your Reply” she sings of the distance that often develops between close friends and loved ones when they’ve been part of your life for long enough. You write a message, or send a text, and maybe you get those anxiety-inducing three dots indicating that they’ve seen and are starting write you back, but they go away and then, nothing.
“There can be a one-sidedness to even the most loving and rewarding relationships,” Quinlan writes in a press release. “We will always have a part of ourselves we can’t or don’t know how to share. There are so many risks involved. Regardless, I think of this song as celebratory. If anything, the speaker is frustrated at coming so close to understanding another person completely, but perhaps only just missing the mark. But still what a gift that is, to come close.”
Quinlan is going on a short run of tour dates in support of Likewise this winter and spring, with a couple pop-up visual art shows as well; in New York, she shows at Selina Chelsea on January 29th (details here), with a Q&A and album listening party, and in Los Angeles, she’ll do the same at the Junior High space on March 13th (more on that event here). Listen to “Your Reply” and check out Quinlan’s full tour dates below; no Philly engagements just yet, but we hear something is in the works.
01/13/20 – London, UK @ Rough Trade East In-Store
01/15/20 – London, UK @ Five Day Forecast Festival
01/19/20 – Chicago, IL @ Tomorrow Never Knows Festival at Sleeping Village +
01/23/19 – Milwaukee, WI @ Pabst Theater *
01/29/20 – Manhattan, NY art show / listening party @ Selina Chelsea
01/30/20 – Brooklyn, NY @ Sultan Room
03/01/20 – San Francisco, CA @ Noise Pop at Swedish American Music Hall #
03/03/20 – Portland, OR @ Doug Fir #
03/05/20 – Seattle, WA @ Columbia City Theater #
03/06/20 – Vancouver, BC @ The Rubber Boot Club #
03/07/20 – Victoria, BC @ TBA #
03/11/20 – Big Sur, CA @ Henry Miller Memorial Library #
03/12/20 – Los Angeles, CA @ Pico Union Project #
03/13/20 – Los Angeles, CA art show / listening party @ Junior High
03/14/20 – San Diego, CA @ Casbah #
03/16/20-03/21/20 – Austin, TX @ SXSW
+ = support from Indigo De Souza
* = supporting Ben Gibbard
# = support from Mary Lattimore