You Sing, I Write: Band of the Week: Murder By Death

Monday, March 22, 2010

Band of the Week: Murder By Death

I have yet to hear an album as versatile and powerful as Murder By Death's upcoming release, Good Morning, Magpie. Of the LP, singer-songwriter Adam Turla said, "Good Morning, Magpie is some of the darkest and brightest material we have ever written. While it's not a concept album, it embodies the struggle between light and dark that has defined our previous work."

This struggle can be heard throughout many of the tracks. In fact, it is Turla's vocals that demand the listener to take notice. "I traveled so long/I traveled so long til I was cold, cold as stone/My whiskers are gray they reach to the ground" he sings emotionally on "King of the Gutters, Prince of the Dogs." It is perhaps no surprise then, that Turla wrote most of the new material during two weeks spent alone deep in the woods of Appalachia with just “a tent, a fishing pole, a guitar, and a lot of paper.”

Their biography describes Murder By Death perfectly. "Theirs is a world where Old West murder ballads mingle with rock-injected Western classicism; where an album’s sequencing can take listeners from a haunted back alley in rural Mexico to a raucous Irish pub. All of which is to say, Murder by Death albums don’t just string together songs; they create experiences."

I couldn't have written it more succinctly. Their fifth album release, Good Morning, Magpie, continues to bring listeners on a journey. Combining powerful haunting string interludes, horn accompaniment and percussion features, the band's music leaves just as much a lasting impact as Turla's vocals. First single, "Foxglove" is a beautiful love song with moving string accompaniment. With that classic Johnny Cash feel, you can easily picture Johnny singing "It was always you" to June Carter Cash.

Whether it's a love ballad or drinking away the pain on, "As Long As There Is Whiskey In The World," ("For as long as there is whiskey in the world we can drink away the heartache/We can drink away the girls"), Murder By Death manage to keep the listener intrigued and wondering what will come next.

Due out April 6, Good Morning, Magpie is one record to buy this spring. I can only imagine how Murder By Death sound live. Be sure to visit Murder By Death on MySpace for songs and upcoming tour dates.

Related Links:
Band of the Week: The Young Things
Band of the Week: The Bloodsugars
Artist of the Week: Griffin Anthony
Band of the Week: Nikki & Rich


B. Miller said...

Yeah!! Murder By Death is one of my favorite bands. I posted about my latest concert experience on my site last Monday. Drove from SC to Bloomington, IN to see them play and they were incredible (as always). I'm so excited about the new album and the upcoming tour! I love the tracks I've heard so far - they played three new songs (including the song you mentioned, King of the Gutters, Prince of the Dogs) at the concert, and I've heard "The Day" and "Foxglove" and think they're great. Thanks for posting this wonderful review of Good Morning, Magpie.


Glad to hear they're amazing live! I really need to catch them in concert sometime. I'll have to check out your writeup. Happy you like the review :-)

Margarita said...

I'm really excited for this release. Murder by Death's material keeps getting better and better. Love how they always seem to have a song about whiskey. This is a nice preview. I'm really tempted to pre-order the album on vinyl, even though I need to watch my spending. The band pack it themselves and are holding a contest where pre-orders get random stuff in their packages like a signed drumstick or posters.


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