The best voices in modern music are not those that are technically proficient but those that are dented and torn, so full of character that they could tell a whole story just by humming a few notes. Tom Waits, Billie Holiday, Ray Charles, Leonard Cohen… as their careers continued their lives seeped into their voices, expanding, contracting, cracking, causing deep crevices. Adam Turla of Murder by Death is well on his way to becoming a member of this camp. In the early days of MbD, Turla’s voice was like a flower bud, green and simple. Now, a decade on, his voice has a timbre closer to another one of those vocal icons, Johnny Cash.
And like those other singular singers, Turla is not relying merely on his battered vocal chords to carry him forward. He integrates it with A) a great band, and B) great stories. While this is clearly a band with a sense of humor – not only are they named after the 1976 murder spoof starring Peter Falk, Peter Sellers, Maggie Smith, … Continue reading