Murder By Death is back with a new album… so let’s rejoice! But in a gloomy way… don’t do anything too crazy like smiling. It wouldn’t suit the music which is once again pitch black and once again comes with Adam Turla channeling his inner Johnny Cash over orchestral indie rock tunes that are pretty friggin’ impressive. And while we are rejoicing, please welcome (don’t applaud… it’ll seem too festive) multi-instrumentalist Scott Brackett of Okkervil River and Shearwater fame who helps bring the songs to the next level by adding touches of piano, trumpet, accordion or mandolin.
Calling this alternative country is cutting it a bit short. The tunes on “Bitter Drink, Bitter Moon” are energetic and while they are rooted in country, they still rock. And with the help of Sarah Balliet’s cello, the songs tend to sound even darker and give everything a gothic vibe and overall brooding atmosphere. And then just when you’re ready to reach for your Xanax after opening track “My Hill” or “No Oath, No Spell”, they whip out the whiskey in an upbeat song like “I Came Around” so you can make it safely through the rest of the album.