Home Read Albums Of The Week: Murder By Death | Spell/Bound

Albums Of The Week: Murder By Death | Spell/Bound

The Louisville orch-roots crew flirt with trip-hop on their mesmerizing ninth album.

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THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Some bands build catalogs over the years. Murder By Death have built a universe. Over more than two decades together, the Louisville band have released eight deeply immersive albums, each one subtly broadening their sonic and thematic limits, and exploring what the band is truly capable of. On their ninth album Spell/Bound, the band have taken their largest leap forward into lavish, spaced-out territory only hinted at on previous records.

“For this album we leaned hard into some less obvious influences that have inspired Murder By Death over the years, like Massive Attack and Portishead, emphasizing a sound that is both chill and dark. We wanted it to be a record that was lush but not necessarily a wall of sound,” says frontman Adam Turla. To thicken their ever evolving and increasingly ambitious sound, Murder By Death added a sixth member for Spell/Bound — Emma Tiemann, whose violin work complements Sarah Balliet’s haunting cello, a beloved staple of the band’s identity. After two years of fine-tuning and adjusting, the songs were finally laid down in California by producer Kevin Ratterman.

The universe Murder By Death have built over the years is not just relegated to their music, though. They’ve amassed a devoted cult following that has gleefully followed them through their wildest projects, like their Christmas album, their three records of cover songs, and their iconic annual performances in a subterranean cave in Tennessee and at the Stanley Hotel, the eerie building in Colorado that inspired The Shining. As they have always done, Murder By Death continue to boldly pave their own path through the music industry, fostering their own secret universe.”