Murder By Death
Bitter Drink, Bitter Moon 180g Black Vinyl LP
Known for their uniquely brooding sound that frequently conjures desolate imagery, on Bitter Drink, Bitter Moon Murder By Death capture a familiar tone but also explore new territory, adding a further refined sophistication and even richer, full-bodied sound.
The varied album ranges musically from the spooky and spare opener “My Hill”, to the rough, rousing sing-along “Hard World”, to the booming, aching waltz of “Ghost Fields.” Songs like the cinematic “Lost River” start hushed before rising to a lush crescendo, while “No Oath, No Spell” maintains a dramatic, bluesy swing, and first single “I Came Around” rumbles and rollicks with a hard-charging, barroom flair. Singer Adam Turla’s cavernous baritone tells shadowy small-town stories throughout, the songs’ oftentimes-upbeat veneer belying a sordid undercurrent.
Across Bitter Drink, Bitter Moon Sarah Balliet’s sonorous cello and Scott Brackett’s multiple instruments (backing vocals, piano, trumpet, and accordion, to name a few) weave irreplaceable accents, and Dagan Thogerson’s robust drums and Matt Armstrong’s inventive bass lines create a resounding low end.
Murder By Death wrote Bitter Drink, Bitter Moon – their first album featuring contributions from Brackett (formerly of Okkervil River and Shearwater)– throughout most of 2011, testing and reworking the songs in Turla’s basement-turned-practice-space. In January, they traveled to Dallas, TX to record with producer John Congleton (Explosions In The Sky, St. Vincent, Black Mountain) over three weeks.