Hey Marseilles

Hey Marseilles is a band that hails from Seattle, and make simply stunning folk music. They have recently released a remastered version of their 2008 record ‘To Travels And Trunks’, and I’ve had it on heavy repeat for a while now.

They have a really broad range of influences: from Beirut to The Mountain Goats to Damien Rice, there’s a little bit of everything here. Rio in particular sounds like a cross between The Mountain Goats and Zach Condon (even featuring his trademark style of naming songs after cities), and this can only be a good thing.

Although ‘To Travels And Trunks’ is best digested in its entirety (from the opening to the closing instrumental piece), one song stood out to me particularly. This song is Cigarettes, and it is a simply sublime song.


“I, I remember how we would dance out loud. In safe and solemn harbours, away from windswept towns, and white cloth clouds, to dance out loud.”

Hey Marseilles craft elegant, lush music, and their moments of orchestral crescendo are just incredible. The band has seven members, and it shows in their music with very complex arrangements at times, however these moments of disorder always give way to the  clarity of a softly strummed acoustic guitar and lead singer Matt Bishop’s wonderful voice.

‘To Travels And Trunks’ is one of the real surprises of 2010 for me, even though it is a rerelease. I had never heard of Hey Marseilles before listening to this record recently, and now I just can’t get enough of them.

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