Murder By Death Shares First Single From Upcoming Album, “Never Be”

Murder By Death has shared the first single from their upcoming album. “Never Be” is out today ahead of their album, “Spell/Bound”, which will be released on July 29th. Last month, Murder by Death announced the Kickstarter Campaign for their next album Spell/Bound which will be released on July 29th. Today they share the first single from the LP, “never beand the band notes, “‘Never Be’ is a cinematic revealing song that simmers with dark, lush energy. Cello and violin intertwine around hypnotic finger-picked acoustics in an arrangement that alludes to Serge Gainsbourg or Elliott Smith.” Listen/share “Never Be” here and watch the clip here:

In support of Spell/Bound Murder by Death, they have confirmed a US tour which will begin with a headlining show at The Caverns in Pelham, TN on July 30 before a series of co-headlining shows with Amigo the Devil which kicks off August 5 in Austin, TX and concludes September 11 in Seattle, WA with an end-of-tour barbecue, doors will be at 6 p.m. and will include an option for people to purchase a barbecue dinner at Jack’s BBQ in town. Tickets are on sale now and all dates are listed below.

Murder by Death has always had to boldly carve its own path through the music industry by fostering its own secret universe. The band’s 5th Kickstarter is underway with offers for the Spell/Bound campaign that include a Murder By Death comic/lyric book that features 20 artist renditions of MBD songs (artists include JH Williams III, Ryan Browne , Erica Williams, Matt Bailey and many more!), tickets to the band’s concert on July 30 at The Caves in Pelham, TN, posters and t-shirts made exclusively for Kickstarter and much more.

Some groups build catalogs over the years. Murder by Death has built a universe. In over two decades together, they’ve released eight deeply immersive albums, each subtly expanding their sonic and thematic boundaries and exploring what the band is truly capable of. “I almost think of it as a novel series,” frontman Adam Turla says of their work. “Something that I consider every time we work on a new album is: how can we grow, while keeping it in the world of Murder by Death?” On their ninth album, Spell/Bound, the band took their biggest leap forward into lavish, spaced-out territory only hinted at on previous records.

While Spell/Bound still relies on Murder by Death’s gothic Western backbone, it also draws from an unlikely palace of musical inspiration. “Asonically, the direction we explored was more in the vein of almost trip-hop, like Massive Attack and Portishead, where we were trying to lean into a cold but dark vibe. We wanted it to be a lush record but not necessarily a wall of sound,” says Turla. The band’s musical language was further influenced by other unusual sources. “Sometimes we wanted it to sound like the Blade Runner soundtrack, or the work that Goblin has made for the Argento movies, where we would like the listener to feel like they are in the Labyrinth movie. I remember saying at one point that I wanted to add something that looked like evil crystals.”

To thicken their ever-evolving and increasingly ambitious sound, Murder by Death have added a sixth member for Spell/Bound, Emma Tiemann, whose violin work complements Sarah Balliet’s haunting cello, a staple of the band’s identity. band. After two pandemic years of tweaking and tweaking, the songs were finally written in California by producer Kevin Ratterman. On some tracks, like “Everything Must Rest,” this tough new lineup was able to produce a straightforward pop jam laced with an ’80s Cure guitar lick on a catchy single hook. But on others, like “Incantation,” they unleashed an over-orchestrated arrangement that sounds like a winding road through dark, treacherous woods. Spell/Bound takes wild, unpredictable leaps at every turn, erasing expectations and preconceptions of what the band can achieve. In other words, quite worthy of a Murder by Death album.

The universe that Murder by Death has built over the years isn’t just relegated to their music, however. They amassed a devoted cult following that happily followed them through their wildest projects, like their Christmas album, their three covers records, and their iconic annual performances in an underground Tennessee cave and at the Stanley Hotel, the strange building in Colorado that inspired The Shining. But even though the band consistently sells an enviable record and can fill venues all over the world, mainstream recognition has largely eluded Murder by Death. It may be the name, as unsaleable as it is misleading. Or maybe it’s the dense grandiosity of their music – Turla described the band’s previous album, 2018’s The Other Shore, as “a western space opera“, after all. Whatever the reason, Murder by Death has always had to boldly carve its own path through the music industry by fostering its own secret universe.

-Murder By Death Spell / Bound bio by Dan Ozzi

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Photo credit: Becky DeGigllio

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