Earlier this year, Frances Quinlan of Hop Along released ‘Likewise,’ her debut under her own name, via Saddle Creek to critical acclaim. Now, Frances prepares to celebrate the 15th anniversary of ‘freshman year,’ her debut solo album under the moniker Hop Along, Queen Ansleis. For the very first time, ‘freshman year’ is available on streaming services, and Frances is also releasing a new 3-track EP entitled ‘more songs from 2005,’ featuring previously unreleased songs from the Hop Along, Queen Ansleis-era. The EP is available exclusively on Bandcamp, and all net proceeds from sales on September 4th of both ‘freshman year‘ and ‘more songs from 2005‘ will benefit D.O.P.E. (Doing Our Part Eclectically), a Philadelphia based non-profit organisation founded in 2014 with a mission to strengthen local communities through social, economic, education/health services, leadership development and advocacy. Additionally, Frances will host a special Instagram livestream performance tomorrow, September 5th at 6pm ET/11pm BST, in honour of the anniversary.
‘freshman year,’ and the songs that would eventually become ‘more songs from 2005,’ were predominately recorded and produced in Quinlan’s parents’ basement (in the rural suburbs of Pennsylvania) during a summer break following her first year attending MICA in Baltimore, Maryland. For these tracks Quinlan used the program Cubase, a program she has since completely forgotten how to use, as well as a now-obsolete interface that her Dad got her for her birthday. Three of the 15 songs on ‘freshman year’ were recorded by and produced with Chris Archibald of the band Illinois. Some additional tracks, backing vocals and field recordings were gathered in other relatives’ homes, as well as in a living room at the end of a house show, a 2nd floor apartment in Doylestown, and also next to someone’s pool in Delaware. It was a scattered and frantic summer.
Frances Quinlan on freshman year and more songs from 2005:
“I must have been pretty hard to be around that summer. To be fair, I’ve had moments where I’ve broken down during every single record I or my band has made. Back then I somehow took myself even more seriously. I would come up from the basement frantic, in tears. I was 19 and trying to make the album that would transform my life, make me famous. I just barely finished it in time and then rushed to Long Island, where my friend Phil Douglas (of the band Iron Chic – I’d met him through playing shows in the basement which was also his bedroom—the place was called The Hobo House) mixed and mastered it in less than 2 days. Then I had to make the sleeves so I could give out/sell some copies in my parents’ backyard for the release show. For this I had the brilliant idea of making the first 20 or 50 (I can’t remember how many) copies have their sleeves be actual ORIGINAL etchings—-that’s actually what the cover art is taken from, the first etching I ever made. I think I was able to make 5 of those. My mom has one, I’m not sure where the others are…Maybe it was less than 5.”
Music and art have always intersected throughout Quinlan’s career, as she has created all of the artwork and visuals for both Hop Along and her work – ‘Likewise’ features a self portrait as its cover and ‘freshman year’ and ‘more songs from 2005’ feature Frances’s original artwork as well. Recently Quinlan exhibited a show of her work at the Selina Gallery in Chelsea, NYC. You can read more about that gallery show HERE via Billboard & HERE via The New Yorker.
For more on Frances Quinlan, head to: www.francesquinlan.com
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With thanks to Brace Yourself PR