Exposé Online banner

Hey Marseilles — To Travels and Trunks
(Onto Entertainment no#, 2008/2010, CD)

by Jon Davis, Published 2011-06-01

To Travels and Trunks Cover art

Seattle may be most famous for its noisy rock, but there seems to be a crop of bands with expanded instrumentation and more melodic intentions. Case in point: Hey Marseilles. Their brand of “orchestral folk” is engaging and lyrical, supported by the tasty arrangements. The seven-piece, in addition to acoustic guitar and drums (only occasionally with bass), includes trumpet, viola, and cello; accordion and piano are the most common keyboards, with scattered electric piano, organ, and harmonium sounds for color. Overdubs are not obvious, keeping the sound intimate in spite of the size of the group, fitting neatly into the chamber pop realm. Some similarities with Portland’s Decemberists occasionally crop up, though Hey Marseilles lacks the other band’s rock and prog leanings, as well as the deliberate lyrical archaism, keeping things more contemporary, though not without the occasional Dostoevsky reference. Electric guitar is very sparingly used for support, with the leads generally being doled out to the strings or trumpet. This is a re-release of the Seattle band’s independent 2008 debut with one track added, and the infectious rolling triple-time of “Rio” is worth the price of admission all by itself.


Filed under: New releases, Issue 39, 2010 releases, 2008 recordings

Related artist(s): Hey Marseilles

Latest news

2017-11-16
Celebrate 10 Years of Fruits de Mer – As a special celebration for a decade of cool vinyl releases, our friends at Fruits de Mer records have prepared a limited edition reissue of an album by the first band ever to appear on the label: Schizo Fun Addict. The band is known for unusual release strag » Read more

2017-11-02
Mega Dodo Presents New Charity Album – Our friends at Mega Dodo have put together a lovely compilation of their artists performing new arrangements of nursery rhymes, and all the profits from sales of the album will benefit Save the Children. It features a number of artists we've covered. » Read more

2017-10-18
Phil Miller RIP – Sad word reaches us today of the passing of another of the great musicians of the Canterbury Scene — guitarist Phil Miller. His distinctive sound added greatly to Matching Mole, Hatfield and the North, and National Health, and he also contributed to albums by Caravan, Dave Stewart & Barbara Gaskin, and many others. He was 68. » Read more

2017-10-13
Moonjune to Distribute Tony Levin's Back Catalog – It has been announced that Moonjune will now handle distribution for Tony Levin's catalog of releases. These great albums will now be a bit easier to get hold of, so check out the site and see what you're missing. The veteran of King Crimson and Stick Men worked with a host of great players on these albums, and we've reviewed most of them over the course of the years. » Read more

2017-09-26
Bandcamp Shines Light on Niches We Like – Bandcamp has developed into one of the best places to discover new music, and even a lot of old music is showing up there. In addition, their staff has been producing periodic articles spotlighting some interesting stylistic areas. On 20 September, they published one called "The New Face of Prog Rock" which bears checking out. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

You Are Here - You Are Here – You Are Here are a new band out of Toronto with this eponymous EP as their debut. First off, I should point out that while a keyboard player is present, this quintet have a much newer and younger...  (1998) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues