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Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Puget Sounds: Hey Marseilles


I’ve been in love with the Seattle-based group Hey Marseilles ever since I stumbled upon them at my first Bumbershoot in 2012. My friends and I were pulled into the crowd by the sound of an accordion and cello, since all of us were really into Mumford & Sons at the time.


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The group released “West Coast,” a track off their upcoming third full-length album on Nov. 17. Their last album, “Lines We Trace,” was released in 2013 and set the stage for this album by adding a subtle, more pop-like feel to previously folk-heavy band.


“West Coast” opens with a pretty simple guitar line with keyboard supporting it. As lead singer, Matt Bishop introduces the melody and we hear the familiar sound of cello and viola enter with a flowing, lyrical line.


But as the drums enter, the feeling begins to shift to the group’s newer, less folky approach. The rhythm is a pretty standard pop groove, adding an exciting dynamic to the song.


Although I found the song to be pretty predictable in comparison to Hey Marseilles’ earlier songs, I still enjoyed it. I’ve always loved the fullness of this group, which includes vocals, cello, viola, guitar, bass, keys, drums and occasionally accordion. But as a clarinetist, I miss their trumpeter who doubled on clarinet.


My friends and I like to call Hey Marseilles “road trip music.” They are light-hearted, fun and just great for a night drive. My favorite song is “Cafe Lights,” from their last album.


Hey Marseilles released the dates of their next tour along with this song. Seeing this group in concert is never disappointing. You can catch them in Seattle on April 2 at The Showbox at the Market at 8 p.m. The members are nice and approachable, so if you get a chance to meet them do it and they’ll happily sign something for you.



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