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Greek synth pop duo Marsheaux earned an international following in the mid-2000s thanks to albums like 2004's E-Bay Queen and 2006's Peekaboo, which drew on members Marianthi Melitsi and Sophia Sarigiannidou's mutual love of '80s electro-pop bands like Yazoo, Depeche Mode, Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark, and Soft Cell. The band maintained a steady output and widespread fan base into the 2010s with albums like Inhale (2013) and Ath:Lon (2016) as well as an impressive 2015 reworking of Depeche Mode's A Broken Frame album.
Initially from the city of Thessaloniki, Melitsi and Sarigiannidou moved to Athens in 2000 and formed Marsheaux in 2003. Their first single, a cover of Gershon Kingsley's early electronic instrumental hit, "Popcorn," appeared on a 2003 compilation called Nu Romantics from Undo Records. The song received significant airplay throughout Greece and Europe, creating advance buzz for Marsheaux's debut album, E-Bay Queen, which arrived a year later via Undo. Containing mostly original material in the band's '80s-influenced synth pop style, E-Bay Queen also included their version of "Popcorn" and a cover of the Lightning Seeds' "Pure." Appearing two years later, their follow-up, Peekaboo, gained a much wider audience thanks to distribution in the U.S. and U.K. Along with their own music, Marsheaux became known for remixing other artists like Moby, Gwen Stefani, and Hurts. Following a 2008 cover of OMD's "She's Leaving," Melitsi and Sarigiannidou returned in 2009 with their third album, Lumineux Noir, which saw release on both Undo and German label Out of Line and earned them comparisons to Ladytron and the Chemical Brothers.
Released in 2012, E-Bay Queen Is Dead compiled a variety of previously unreleased tracks, covers, and rarities and was followed a year later by both a new album, Inhale, and Odyssey, which served as a sort of greatest hits collection from their first four albums. In 2015, Melitsi and Sarigiannidou ambitiously tackled a full-album cover of Depeche Mode's 1982 album A Broken Frame, staying true to the original aesthetics while bringing fresh arrangements and subtle reworkings to the material. Returning to their own songs with a renewed vigor, they followed up in 2016 with Ath:Lon, its name referring to Athens and London, where the album was recorded. A 2018 collection, Our Girls on Film, offered up alternate versions of existing songs that had been submitted to various films for sync licensing. ~ Timothy Monger
- Athens, Greece