Matt Bishop, the lead singer of Hey Marseilles, likes to keep things free-flowing. Nowhere is this more evident than in the content found on the band’s latest release, Lines We Trace, which expands on the folk and orchestral elements found on their debut album, To Travels & Trunks, and incorporates heavy doses of dreamy pop-rock aesthetics a la Death Cab for Cutie.
“The ideas we were excited about, musically, happened to fit in a different style than our first record,” Bishop says. “It’s a bit more bass-heavy and nuanced as far as our instrumental arrangements, and there were different guitar tones we wanted to experiment with, so the songs ended up sounding less folk-oriented.”
In addition to letting the music go wherever it wanted to, Bishop was also happy to let it dictate the content of the songs in some cases, rather than the other way around. The churning orchestral pop track “Heart Beats” is a perfect example.
“We had already written 90 percent of the instrumental elements of it ... so when I was writing the lyrics to that song, I was trying to write a story that fit with the vibe of what I thought the music was saying,” Bishop says. The result was a song with universal appeal, and not surprisingly, Bishop was fine with that. “The words that ended up coming out for that song told a story that many people have experienced with respect to relationships ending and moving forward,” Bishop says. “I think music functions as a drug, a way to deal with the mundane aspects of everyday life. It stimulates the part of most peoples’ brains that isn’t otherwise stimulated. It allows me to appreciate things, on a subconscious level, involved in the day-to-day experience.”
Hey Marseilles plays 8 pm Wednesday, July 10, at Cozmic; $10 adv., $12 door.