For Those Who Like Different: Murder By Death – “True Dark”

Murder By Death

“True Dark”

The Other Sound

This band has been one of my favorites for a while, and I was so excited that they have a new album coming out in August.  The first single, “True Dark”, is a great song, and if the rest of the album sounds like this, Murder By Death has another winner on its hands.  Coming from Bloomington, IN (my favorite Indiana town), Murder By Death is comprised Adam Turla – Vocals, Guitars; Sarah Balliet – Cello, Keys; Dagan Thogerson -Drums, Percussion; Tyler Morse – Bass; and David Fountain – Piano, Percussion, Mandolin, Banjo, and Backup vox.  Well known for their concept albums, Murder By Death’s sound is nothing like any other band out there.  The use of cellos and mandolins adds to the sound.  Their press describes their sound better than I can:

SPIN Magazine … said of the band, “They brawl like Johnny Cash’s cellmates or dreamily swoon like Nick [Cave], stomping saloon floorboards in 4/4 time as grand strings fade into high noon.”

What resonates most with supporters is the band’s energetic, unique, and altogether consistent sound and conceptualized vision. The personnel and ingredients of the group consist of Sarah Balliet’s throaty cello melodies, singer/guitarist Adam Turla’s booming baritone vocals and brawny guitar strumming, drummer Dagan Thogerson and bassist Matt Armstrong’s locked-down, post-punk rhythm section interplay, and Scott Brackett’s (formerly of Okkervil River and Shearwater) multi-instrumentalist bag of tricks (including piano, trumpet, accordion, mandolin, vocals, percussion). The overriding sound is an amalgamation of textures ranging from dark and desolate to upbeat and brightly melodic, all of it landing somewhere under the orchestrated indie rock umbrella.

Being named after one of my favorite movies helps me love them more.  They are often heavy, but can be fun also.  Check out their free EP, Songs In The Key Of Robocop, that they just released on Bandcamp (https://murderbydeath.bandcamp.com/album/songs-in-the-key-of-robocop).  Great job all around.  I will be there to see you in October when you come to Pittsburgh.

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