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Murder By Death


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Bloomington, Indiana, United States (2000 – present)

Murder by Death are an / band which formed in 2000 in Bloomington, Indiana, United States. The band consists of Adam Turla (vocals, guitar), Matt Armstrong (bass), Sarah Balliet (cello, keyboards), Scott Brackett (keyboards, accordion), and Dagan Thompson (drums). The band has released six albums since their formation: “Like The Exorcist, But More Breakdancing” (2002), “Who Will Survive, and What Will Be Left of Them” (2003), “In Bocca al Lupo” (2006), “Red of Tooth and Claw” (2008), “Good Morning, Magpie” (2010), and “Bitter Drink, Bitter Moon” (2012).

Indiana’s Murder by Death (formerly known as Little Joe Gould) layers the vocal sounds of an old saloon with the haunting strings of a Hungarian dance and the hard driving rhythms of pure rock ‘n’ roll, producing what Stuff magazine has called “lush, orchestrated songs,” somehow simultaneously reminiscent of Johnny Cash and Radiohead. Added to that thick and intriguing sound are a series of and lyrics, combining the mood and tone of Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds with the narrative force of The Decemberists or a short story by Nathaniel Hawthorne. Adam Turla fills out these sometimes frightening, sometimes lyrics by conjuring up a cast of character voices, allowing the songs to speak with the force of the characters themselves, and providing the listener with a sense of ensemble unique in rock music.

But this ensemble feel is not only the result of Turla’s vocal playfulness, but of the cohesive playing of the band itself.


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  • PerraSuicida

    No genre can really fit Murder By Death, and no genre would really be able to do them justice.

    14 Apr 12:06am Reply
  • heroesdietrying

    Big Dark Love is great. I was skeptical because I'd seen so many negative comments about it, but I am really enjoying the album. Can't wait for their show tomorrow night.

    10 Mar 2:25am Reply
  • TheMightyWaffle

    Big Dark Love is a bore Ugh :/

    3 Mar 12:07pm Reply
  • atsom655321

    Such an awesome show in Santa Cruz. The tracks from Bitter Drink Bitter Moon were particularly excellent.

    16 Feb 8:42am Reply
  • StormandStatic

    9 Feb 11:27pm Reply
  • Walenta

    Heavy Pop Review:

    8 Feb 6:14pm Reply
  • ZombiePsyche

    I stand corrected, Hunted is an amazing track too...

    6 Feb 6:00pm Reply
  • ZombiePsyche

    They should use the banjo & the mandolin more in their music. Those were the 2 stand out tracks on Big Dark Love for me, aside from the title track. The rest of it, as others have similarly stated, wasn't spectacular. Still better than most Rock music I know of these days. Also, still a great album to me, just not by comparison to most of their previous albums. Lastly, I'm happy MbD is doing what they want, and not simply writing the same song again and again. They get major respect points for that. Plus, they are the band responsible for getting me out of listening to only Extreme Metal & Hard Electronic Music and appreciating most music all around. They will always be special to me!

    6 Feb 5:53pm Reply
  • cold-war

    I don't know what to think about Big Dark Love. There are a couple of great tracks, but overall I agree that it seems kind of flat. It's not bad, but just kind of average. Who knows though, I could come back to this shoutbox a month from now and silently delete this shout out of shame while asking myself what the hell I was thinking. Kind of hoping that'll be the case, hah.

    6 Feb 1:14am Reply
  • Honzeecheck

    Its their first for me and I love it...

    3 Feb 1:59pm Reply
  • Quentin3

    I can't really agree. I've been a big fan since almost the beginnig and pretty much loved everything they put out. But I think this album is their weakest so far. Not bad I mean, but just more flat than all the others so far. I'll see, maybe it'll grow on me.

    3 Feb 8:37am Reply
  • PistolPeteMatty

    New album is so damn good. Favorite album of the year so far.

    28 Jan 1:09am Reply
  • StormandStatic

    Are you for real angry they aren't trying to sound like cowboys anymore?

    20 Jan 1:22pm Reply
  • Gatterious

    Man, since they've added that 5th guy in the mix, the past 2 albums have had such a positive vibe, and the two new songs they released off the new album sound like the Killers. I'm really disappointed because MBD is one of my favorites, and their sound has made a complete 180 from what it was. Instead of the dark western folk rock it's turned into just happy sounding indie music without soul. I'm so sad :(

    14 Jan 12:47am Reply
  • princegarth

    I love you <3

    4 Jul 2014 Reply
  • RoveRBastarD

    Brother... What a Song!

    20 Jun 2014 Reply
  • lsteamer

    And if you must fight, make it clean.

    3 Jan 2014 Reply
  • Raelis

    Looks like they're still underrated, or more like, not as popular as they surely deserve to be. With Bitter Drink they made me sure MbD is one of the best things I've heard. AND I WANT THEM ON MY MOTHERFUCKING WEDDING.

    7 Oct 2013 Reply
  • Dr_MoonOrGun

    Not really into the cover album. Just don't care about any of these songs.

    17 Jun 2013 Reply
  • ILoveMPortal

    Like clip by Murder By Death on track: "Lost River".

    22 May 2013 Reply
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