Murder By Death has consistently been in the background of my life. One of those bands that all my friends loved, but one of the bands I never quite fell in love with. I’ve seen them live twice, once on accident and once on purpose. Both times, I was blown away by their stage presence, the dedication of their fans and their ability to transform completely from album to album.
And so, here I am, years later, still not convinced Murder by Death is my cup of tea. But the weather is gloomy, my friends wont stop talking about the genius of Good Morning, Magpie, and so, I decide to give one final plunge into the world of MBD’s music.
I hit play and instantly, I am frozen. The first track “Hentuckey Bourbon” is only 34 seconds long, yet I was hooked. It’s slow, pretty, and one of the best record openers I have heard in years.
My initial idea was to write my thoughts upon my first listen, but I couldn’t. I had to stop to let it all sink in. I listened to this record five times in a row without ever moving. I simply could not.
The stand out track for me is “Piece by Piece”. The opening is almost jolly sounding while the actual tone and lyrics of the song are moody and dark.
For the first time in years, I had finally understood the allure of Murder By Death. The music is complicated, solid, well rounded, and each song is constructed in such a manner that it evokes strong human emotion.
“Foxglove” is another track that caught my attention. The chord progression and strings in the background are reminiscent of older Murder By Death, but also fresh and exciting.
In reality, I can’t say which song is the best because with each listen I change my mind.
Murder By Death is classic American noir in music form and right now, this is precisely the only thing I want and need. I don’t drink or dance, but by the end of this record, I wanted a bottle of whiskey and a pair of dancing shoes.