Formed in 2006 by vocalist Nick Ward and guitarist Matt Bishop, Hey Marseilles quickly expanded into an eclectic six-piece band.
The group took root in Seattle, where Ward and Bishop were attending the University of Washington. Ward's roommate, pianist/accordionist Philip Kobernik, was the first to join the core duo, and Hey Marseilles' lineup soon swelled with the addition of cellist Samuel Anderson, violist Jacob Anderson, and drummer Colin Richey. Released in December 2008, To Travels & Trunks unveiled the band's orchestral sound, one that seemingly took its cues from the Decemberists
and other chamber pop groups. The band appeared at a variety of festivals the following year -- including CMJ, South by Southwest, and Bumbershoot -- and subsequently attracted the attention of the Starbucks coffee chain, which included one of the band's songs on the compilation Sweethearts, Vol. 2, in early 2010. Three years later, Lines We Trace appeared on the Thirty Tigers
label, and the group made appearances at Lollapalooza, the Newport Folk Festival, and the Firefly Music Festival, among others. Down to a quintet with the departure of Richey, Hey Marseilles returned to the studio with Grammy-winning engineer/mixer/producer Anthony Kilhoffer (Kanye West
, John Legend
) to fashion a sleeker third LP. The self-titled album was slated for release in early 2016 on Shanachie. ~ Andrew Leahey, Rovi