Hop Along is a part of the conversation. This past year saw the takeover of indie by women, and Frances Quinlan is another prime example of this. Her band’s most recent release, Bark Your Head Off, Dog, has consistently ranked across many major music publications’ best of 2018 lists, including the likes of NPR, Billboard, and Rolling Stone. Rightfully so, as the group’s third record is their most powerful yet. Quinlan’s unique style of world-building storytelling shifts to the forefront on this album, a necessary move given the extent and consequent of the issues she works hard to tackle and contextualize here. The line ‘strange to be shaped by such strange men’ appears on multiple tracks and is repeated like a mantra across the record, a tactic that is intentionally unavoidable and jarring (especially when put to words by Quinlan’s hair-raising voice). This powerful motif unites the project around a common theme of social reflection and reconciliation— one that is about as 2018 as you can get.