Members of Bloomington band Murder by Death have been making music together since they were IU students.
Their storytelling elements in lyrics and the use of cello make the band different than typical “indie” music. The band released their sixth studio album, “Bitter Drink, Bitter Moon,” Sept. 25.
The band will play an album release show at the Bluebird Nightclub today, 9 p.m., with indie/math rock band Maps & Atlases. Adam Turla, lead singer of Murder by Death, talked with the IDS.
IDS For people who aren’t familiar with Murder By Death’s music, how would you describe it?
Adam Turla We tried to make something that was our own with the instruments that we have. The genre or style depends on what the song calls for.
IDS What’s different about “Bitter Drink, Bitter Moon” than other albums?
AT Scott (Brackett) joined the band. He plays eight instruments. We call him the utility guy. He’s the Swiss army knife of the band. He does backup vocals which we haven’t done before. It’s more lush sounding.
IDS What do you like most about the new album?
AT The diversity in the songs is really cool. There’s three different kinds of songs. There’s super-low downers and really upbeat songs and then there’s buffer songs in between. I’m a “variety’s the spice of life” kind of guy. It’s fun for playing shows.
IDS How does your song writing process work?
AT I try to develop a melody that evokes a feeling. I like really linear stories and songs, but then I write something obscure and random. Once again, I like variety. I like coming up with fun ways of presenting things.
IDS Does the band have any traditions you do together before new albums come out?
AT We get broke. We always make our money playing shows. You don’t get paid to write. It’s a feast or famine thing when you’re in a band. You learn not to freak out about it because we’ll hit the road again and we’ll be fine.
IDS Do you have a favorite album you’ve ever worked on?
AT It’s hard not to be the most excited about the one you just busted your butt on. We spent more time on this album than any other. The production is interesting. John Congleton, who produced St. Vincent and Explosions in the Sky albums produced this one. He makes some really edgy choices. He could really transform the sound. We recorded in his studio in Dallas, Texas.
IDS What are you most excited for about the show with Maps & Atlases on Thursday?
AT Just the feeling that it’s finally official. We’ve been recording since March of 2011 and finished in January 2012. Love it or hate it, it’s out.
IDS What are your plans for the future?
AT We’re gonna do a big tour this winter playing with Say Anything. We’re playing nice theaters in smaller towns like Pensacola (Fla.) instead of Orlando (Fla.)