Hey Marseilles in-studio performance

Hey Marseilles stopped by the Lightning 100 studio in Nashville, TN to chat about their new record and play three songs from it live.

Interview and engineered by Dan Buckley.

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Indie Underground Playlist for 3-18-13

Indie Underground Hour 3-18-13

Stevie Nicks w/ Dave Grohl – You Can’t Fix This (Sound City Real To Reel, Roswell/RCA)
David Bowie – The Stars (Are Out Tonight) (The Next Day, ISO Records/Columbia)
Devendra Banhart – Never Seen Such Good Things (Mala, Nonesuch)
Robyn Hitchcock – Stupefied (Love From London, YepRoc)
Adrian Younge & William Hart – Just Love (Adrian Younge Presents The Delfonics, Wax Poetics)
Lady – Get Ready (Lady, Truth & Soul)
Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds – We No Who U R (Push The Sky Away, Bad Seeds Ltd)
The Black Angels – Don’t Play With Guns (Indigo Meadow, Blue Horizon)
Phosphorescent – Song For Zula (Muchacho, Dead Oceans)
The Cave Singers – Shine (Naomi, Jagjaguwar)
Caitlin Rose – When I’m Gone (The Stand-In, ATO)
Hey Marseilles – Looking Back (Lines We Trace, Thirty Tigers)

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Hey Marseilles – Bright Stars Burning

hey marseillesFive miles south of downtown Seattle is the neighborhood of Columbia City—a leafy stretch of old brownstones and new condos which, according to local legend and loosely interpreted census data, boasts the most diverse zip code in America. Not far from Columbia City’s main drag, amidst a swirl of languages and colors and food and accents, sits a 100-year-old, two-story house that’s home to the world-weary, six-piece orchestral-pop ensemble known as Hey Marseilles.

World-weary in spirit if not in practice: Hey Marseilles first won hearts across the US with its 2010 debut, To Travels and Trunks, an album that reveled in the education and inspiration only globe-trotting exploration can provide. With Matt Bishop’s lyrical wayfaring abutting an instrumental palette that embraced folk tradition—accordion, strings, and horns; gypsy, Gallic, and classical—To Travels and Trunks gave musical voice to the universal longing for unfettered freedom. NPR called the record “sublime and heartfelt.”

A lot has changed in the world since 2010—that house in Columbia City, for instance. The vacillations of the economy allowed Hey Marseilles violist Jacob Anderson to acquire it in 2011; he and his younger brother, cellist and producer Sam Anderson, helped renovate it. Since then, most of the band has lived in it, and the entirety of their new album was written and recorded in it, or nearby. (Other recording spaces included a tunnel in Seattle’s Golden Gardens Park, a mostly abandoned brick office building, and a church sanctuary, all because of their advantages for the band’s acoustic instrumentation.) Not surprisingly, Lines We Trace is not about going out and searching. It’s about finding you’re already where you need to be.

Make your way back home again, Bishop sings on the dusky ballad “Café Lights.” I am here still.

“These songs articulate a sense of longing, but it’s a longing to appreciate what’s in front of you as opposed to finding meaning in somewhere or someone else, “ says Bishop. “It’s about finding and creating home where you’re at and as you are.”

The 12 songs on Lines We Trace represent a band steady enough in its sound—poignant, panoramic, unreservedly gorgeous—that it can expand beyond it. The string section that hums throughout “Elegy”—quintessentially sweeping, Hey Marseilles style—shifts into finely composed abstraction for the song’s final minute. Colin Richey’s skittering rhythm on “Bright Stars Burning” is a gentle breakbeat, a sly nod to atmospheric drum ‘n’ bass. “Madrona” and the album-closing “Demian” are Hey Marseilles’ first fully instrumental songs, a pair of echo-laden piano-and-cello dirges that are simultaneously solemn and sumptuous. “Dead of Night” trots along on an almost-funky, waltzy swing and gives the album its titular lyric, trumpet triumphant as Bishop sings, The lines we trace have a thousand ends/We’ll count the ways we can’t begin/And stay in our homes, remain on our own…

Throughout, Philip Kobernik’s accordion is less pronounced than previously, Nick Ward’s guitar more so. The result is less old-world, more new school. “With our first record, we were inspired by traditional folk instrumentation and arrangements, but at our core we were trying to make solid pop songs,” Bishop explains. “We see this album as a continuation of that goal, but we hope the arrangements reflect our maturation as musicians and songwriters.” An update. A progression. A musical analog to a line in “Looking Back”: If you’re looking back that’s all you’ll ever see.

Six years after Bishop first got together with Kobernik and Ward to jam at Seattle’s Gasworks Park, Hey Marseilles is an experienced band with a slew of major festivals (Bumbershoot, Sasquatch!) and a national tour under its belt. They’ve come a long way—only to find themselves back home.

Put another way, as Lines We Trace suggests, sometimes you don’t have to go far to find a meaningful experience. Sometimes the comfort of the familiar is all you need to grow.

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Indie Underground Playlist for 3-4-13

Indie Underground Hour 3-04-13
    
Caitlin Rose
-Only A Clown (The Stand-In, ATO)
Mount Moriah – Younger Days (Miracle Temple, Merge)
Josh Rouse – Simple Pleasure (The Happiness Waltz, Bedroom Classics/YepRoc)
Hey Marseilles – Bright Stars Burning (Lines We Trace, Onto/Thirty Tigers)
Jamie Lidell – Big Love (Jamie Lidell, Warp)
Javelin – Airfield (Hi Beams, Luaka Bop)
The Mavericks – Come Unto Me (In Time, The Valory Music Co)
Marcos Valle – Melena (Vento Sul, Light In The Attic)
Drew Holcomb & The Neighbors – Good Light (Good Light, Magnolia Music)
Bobby Long – Devil Moon (Wishbone, ATO)
Wavves – Demon To Lean On (Afraid Of Heights, Warner Bros)
The Whigs – Staying Alive (Enjoy The Company, New West Records)
The Relatives – It’s Coming Up Again (The Electric Word, YepRoc)

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Indie Underground Playlist for 2-11-13

Thanks to Justin from Lightning 100, who held down the Indie Underground fort this week so I could focus on getting Grimey’s Too put together. Here’s his playlist:

Indie Underground Hour 2-11-13

Jim James – State of The Art (A.E.I.O.U.) – Regions of Light & Sound of God
Postal Service – A Tattered Line of String – Give Up (Deluxe Edition)
Kishi Bashi – Manchester – Room For Dream
Black Rebel Motorcycle Club – Let The Day Begin – Specter @ The Feast
River City Extension – Standing Outside A Southern Riot – Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Your Anger
41st and Home – Hummingbird – Raised By Wolves
Local Natives – Columbia – Hummingbird
People Get Ready – Three Strangers – People Get Ready
Sir Sly – Ghost – (Single)
Lower Dens – Brains – Nootropics
Hey Marseilles – Bright Stars Burning – Lines We Trace
Daughter – Candles – His Young Heart E.P.

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Indie Underground Hour – Monday February 11th

Here’s The Playlist For The Indie Underground Hour I Hosted…

Jim James – State of The Art (A.E.I.O.U.) – Regions of Light & Sound of God
Postal Service – A Tattered Line of String – Give Up (Deluxe Edition) (April 9th)
Kishi Bashi – Manchester – Room For Dream
Black Rebel Motorcycle Club – Let The Day Begin – Specter @ The Feast (March 19th)
River City Extension – Standing Outside A Southern Riot – Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Your Anger
41st and Home – Hummingbird – Raised By Wolves
Local Natives – Columbia – Hummingbird
People Get Ready – Three Strangers – People Get Ready
Sir Sly – Ghost – (Single)
Lower Dens – Brains – Nootropics
Hey Marseilles – Bright Stars Burning – Lines We Trace (March 5th) (High Watt on March 23rd)
Daughter – Candles – His Young Heart E.P.

Had a blast and really hope you guys enjoyed it!

Justin Hammel

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