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

2020-09-09
Simeon Coxe RIP – Simeon Coxe, best known for his experimental electronics in the band Silver Apples, has died at the age of 82. The band's 1968 debut album set the stage for both German electronic music and experimental punk music a decade later. Coxe died on September 8 from pulmonary fibrosis. » Read more

2020-09-05
Gary Peacock RIP – Legendary bassist Gary Peacock, veteran of many recordings and performances with Paul Bley, George Russell, Roland Kirk, Bill Evans, Tony Williams, and many more. » Read more

2020-07-22
Tim Smith RIP – Tim Smith, leader of the eccentric band Cardiacs, has died at the age of 59 after many years of health problems. Cardiacs was known for intense and complicated music that combined punk energy with the rhythmic and harmonic sophistication of progressive rock. » Read more

2020-07-12
Judy Dyble RIP – Singer-songwriter Judy Dyble, who was a founding member of Fairport Convention and one of the distinctive voices of the 60s folk revival in Britain, has died at the age of 71. Her passing came at the end of a long illness, though which she continued to work. » Read more

2020-07-06
Ennio Morricone RIP – Famed composer Ennio Morricone has died at the age of 91. The creator of scores for more than 500 movies, some of his works have become the most recognizable sounds in the history of cinema. His soundtracks for Sergio Leone's Westerns made from 1964 to 1971, are iconic landmarks in film music, but he also composed for dramas, comedies, and other genres. He won the Academy Award for Best Original Score in 2016 for The Hateful Eight. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

André Andersen - Changing Skin – Anderson is the keyboardist of Royal Hunt, a progressive metal band from Denmark that released the album Paradox on Magna Carta a couple years ago (and four more on other labels before that). The...  (1999) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues