Frances Quinlan – Likewise

With 'Likewise', Frances Quinlan has struck gold.
Label: Saddle Creek
Released: 31st January 2020
Rating: ★★★★

After seven years as frontwoman of indie-rock band Hop Along, Frances Quinlan’s first solo project combines all the best of human emotion.

‘Likewise’ is four-dimensional. In 30 minutes, Frances proves that she can master everything on the emotional spectrum. Each song is different, exploring a different mindset, telling a different story. Sonically, this manifests in an abundance of beautiful sounds ranging from dreamy folk over electro pop influences to more stripped-back, acoustic tracks.

What ties them all together are Frances’ instantly striking vocals. Her warm, clear voice softly floats along each track and emphasises her impeccable songwriting. Like a knife, she cuts straight through the bone and targets the heart.

While first single ‘Rare Thing’, the pop song on the album, explores unconditional love – “I know there is love that doesn’t have to do with taking something from somebody” – standout track ‘Went To LA’ sees Frances talking about human relationships in a way that reminds of Big Thief when her raw and honest lyrics are met by an outcry of pure emotion as she exclaims: “Heaven is a second chance”.

Trying something new is intimidating. There are enough horror stories of projects gone wrong to know that going solo can go one of two ways, but with ‘Likewise’ Frances Quinlan has struck gold. Being more adventurous and experimenting with different sounds clearly sets this record apart from her previous work with Hop Along and gives the world the chance to fully recognise her as the impressive songstress she undoubtedly is.

Laura Freyaldenhoven

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