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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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