Singer Adam Turla's voice is gorgeously deep, smooth and mesmerizing. Blended with Sarah Balliet's sultry electric cello, Matt Armstrongs' dark, muddy bass work, Dagan Thogerson's spirited, dynamic drum patterns and Turla's folk-injected guitar style, Murder by Death ignites emotions that range from mournful and melancholy to passionate elation to thunderous fury.
When it formed in 2000, the Bloomington, Ind. band was originally named Little Joe Gould. A few years later, the musicians changed the name to Murder by Death -- taken from Robert Moore's 1976 murder mystery film of the same title -- saying they thought the new name was more suited for their ghostly esoteric sound.
To write the most recent album, Good Morning, Magpie, Turla retreated deep into the Appalachian mountains. There he spent two dark and gloomy weeks in the rainy wilderness, completely alone and determined to give life to ideas that had been swirling in his head for months. The result was 11 tempestuous songs like "As Long as There is Whiskey in the World," "The Day" and "Foxglove" that intertwine powerful lyrics with hauntingly majestic music.