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

2020-02-18
Jon Christensen RIP – Word reaches us today of the passing of Norwegian drummer Jon Christensen, a musician whose sensitive playing did much to help define the atmospheric sound of ECM jazz recordings. His work with Jan Garbarek, Bobo Stenson, Terje Rypdal, and many more was sensitive and varied, adapting to a wide variety of styles while maintaining a distinct identity of its own. Christensen was 76. » Read more

2020-01-21
Gong Announces UK Tour for 2020 – Having spent the last few years touring the world, including dates in Japan with psych legend Steve Hillage, multiple headline European tours and festivals, America’s Cruise to the Edge festival, a South America headline tour, and a headline performance at Tomorrow Festival in China, the band have won the hearts of both traditional and modern Gong fanbases. During this live journey, Gong has delved further into the truly psychedelic, exploratory, and mind-expanding side of the music. » Read more

2020-01-15
Carlos Alvarado RIP – Carlos Alvarado, pioneering composer, multi-instrumentalist and pioneer of progressive rock and electronic experimental music in Mexico, passed away January 14th, 2020 at age 68 after a two year battle with cancer.  » Read more

2020-01-12
Wolfgang Dauner RIP – Pianist Wolfgang Dauner, one of the pioneers of both European free jazz and jazz rock, has died at the age of 84. With his own groups and with the United Jazz+Rock Ensemble, his playing and compositions were a prominent presence in European jazz from the mid-60s until just recently. » Read more

2020-01-12
Michael Allison RIP – Michael Allison, who since 1997 has been recording as Darshan Ambient, passed away on January 9th after a long and brave battle with cancer. He has been at at the forefront of the new ambient/electronic music scene, with over eighteen releases to his credit. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Satoru Wono - Sonata for Sine Wave and White Noise – Click. Shhhhhsshh. Bleep. The first minute of “Overture” sounds something like a couple of malfunctioning cell phones making random sounds. Then the beeps and hiss begin to take shape and find...  (2004) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues