By: Shelby Lum
Seattle is dripping with a lot of things. Rain, hipsters, and indie-pop bands to name a few.
Hey Marseilles, the indie-pop/indie-folk band out of Seattle is looking to distinguish itself from the masses within the Seattle area.
“We kind of have a unique niche because we are able to integrate a diverse array of instrumentation on top of perhaps a more standard folk pop,” said singer, Matt Bishop. The six-man band has been setting themselves apart with its use of stringed instruments, that are less used within the pop community. Where some groups may employ a synthesized violin or cello, Hey Marseilles uses the real thing.
“Cello, viola, accordion, and woodwind are all elements of our records,” Bishop said.
The group may not be formally trained musicians, but they can hold their own within the industry. Last year Hey Marseilles joined forces with Seattle Symphony, adding even more depth to the band’s stringed performances.
“To hear those layers on top of the music we’ve written was humbling and awesome,” Bishop said. Rather than having one cello play a section, Hey Marseilles had five or six, the singer said.
People are taking notice of those stringed sections too.
The band has played at Bumbershoot Festival in Seattle, and is slotted to play at Firefly in Delaware this summer. Landing spots like that doesn’t just happen.
“The ability to kind of play a stage, and not be able to see the end only happens at festivals. It’s really magical,” Bishop said. He said the last time the band played at Bumbershoot, it rained during the entire festival (as is usual in Seattle), but during their 40 minute set, the rain stopped. The gods were looking favorably upon Hey Marseilles, he said with a laugh.
The comment might not be so comical though. Since the band’s debut album release in late 2008, it has been gaining more and more popularity with a steady fan base. Not such a laughing matter when it comes to the very real results Hey Marseilles has seen in the past few years.
For 2013, the band isn’t slowing down its pace either. They released their album, Lines We Trace, on March 5th, and that means there will be a lot of new material at the show on March 22nd.
Sure, Vinyl may not be as big as Bumbershoot or Firefly, but Bishop said no matter the size of the venue, big or small, playing as passionately as possible is key for a great performance.
“Really it comes down to giving 100 percent,” Bishop said.
Catch Hey Marseilles playing at Vinyl on Friday, March 22nd!