are a band that have arrived on what is a rather glorious, new sound. On two previous albums, the Seattle six-piece embraced classical influences in a big way, taking cues from contemporaries like The Decemberists. But on their third, most recently released self-titled album, the band made bigger, bolder strides in the studio, creating a more polished piece of art that's taking these amicable, Pacific North Westerners to soaring new heights.
Not surprisingly, the place these songs are most effective is in the live setting...something we saw firsthand when the band dropped in on our Baeble Bounce House Party in Austin last spring. Put simply, this is an infectious set. Singer Matt Bishop's sauntering, vocal melodies and big choruses are sure to clang around in your brain for days. And as we mentioned above, the band's more precious, previous pursuits (say that three times fast) take on a bit more edge with the addition of a real rhythmic drive and guitar work that pivots perfectly between distorted pedal crunchers and a glossy haze.
Most interestingly though are the orchestrations, which used to serve as Hey Marseilles' calling card. The band haven't dialed these elements back, but where classical influences were once the bedrock to their songs, now piano, cello, and violins taste like the cherry on top, bringing the band's entire, exciting new sound together. If you're a fan of that certain brand of melodic and heartfelt indie-rock only the Pacific Northwest seems to be able to produce (think Death Cab, The Shins, The Lonely Forest), Hey Marseilles should
be your favorite new band.