Song of the Week: “Not Able” by Hop Along

Dennise Reynoso, Writer

Hop Along, the Philadelphia raised indie-rock band, released their fourth album titled, “Bark Your Head off, Dog” on April 6. The varied styles used on the record are all memorable in their right, but it is the track, “Not Able” and its distinct tone and message that sets it or apart or rather encapsulate the meaning of the album. The band plays on the folk genre by incorporating a almost medieval-like tune that creates a mystical story-telling effect. This tune aligns perfectly as lead singer, Frances Quinlan, sings of the biblical story of the brothers Abel and Cain. She masterfully weaves this antiquated story of a treachery and sin into a more modern context.

“Strange to be shaped by such strange men,” she sings in her passionate vocals. In this verse, Quinlan seems to be commenting on individuality and the compulsive way in which we follow men and humans. It’s our instinct to want to follow others and seek approval; she seems to be saying, as it is how we learn. Yet Quinlan is also trying to emphasize how it is important to rely and have confidence in yourself. It is evident through her frustrated tone that as a woman in the music industry and creator, she also feels the very human feeling of doubt and a relatable impulse to seek validation in men. This song speaks of the necessity to find value and assurance in oneself despite societal pressures to do otherwise. Hop Along’s new album is now available and they will be on tour for the duration of the summer.