We’re glad to announce that Morrison, United States-based post-punk/doom metal band Murnau have released a new single, entitled “Dalia.”
Murnau is Alex Riggen (guitars, vocals, keys) and Nick Pompou (drums). They’ve been in bands together since high school; and now, 17 years later, they’re still keeping the band that they started after college. Inspired by a wide range of influences, including 80’s goth and death punk, 90’s grunge and alternative, all sorts of doom and gothic metal bands, and folk artists like Bob Dylan and Leonard Cohen, Murnau have played primarily around the Quad Cities area, with some Chicago shows. They’ve appeared on local radio and public access channels (Muscatine Access 9) and festivals like Life is Beautiful and the Muscapalooza in Muscatine IA festival; and also have future shows booked at Reggie’s in Chicago and around their Midwestern area.
Murnau’s latest single, “Dalia,” was recorded at their home studio, mixed by @rossmixes (on Instagram) and mastered by JJ Golden. In a way, the song is a return to the original demo tracks that Murnau wrote 17 years ago, all running over 10 minutes. With its riffs and structure, Murnau felt that it made more sense to go back to the long-form writing, with the multiple sections, movements and moods the song goes through making the build-up at the end that much more dynamic. It’s also Murnau’s first track to heavily feature Mellotron as part of the melody, a last-minute decision before mixing as the band had already played the song live several times with just drums and guitar. All the instruments were also tracked that way, but Alex started playing around with the Mellotron and realized how much it added to the song.
Brooding and atmospheric, “Dalia” is 12 minutes of shoegaze, grunge and doom mixed in Murnau’s unique style. Loud guitars and drums introduce the song, before transitioning into a quiet, Mellotron-guided mid-section–all building towards the big and raw climactic ending. The meaning behind the song is open to interpretation, but Murnau’s fascination with love and death regularly shines through.
Describing the creative process behind “Dalia,” Alex writes:
“The song went through quite a few revisions as we’ve been working on some of the initial parts back when we were recording our single Repent earlier this year. I guess that’s the nature of it being such a long track. It all started with the middle quiet part and that was going to be the entire song. But, it’s hard for us to avoid getting loud and heavy and after playing around weeks/months later I realized that there were some great riffs that quiet part could flow into as the intensity grew.
The intro part was probably the last thing we wrote. It never felt right just starting out with the quiet section as it needed some dynamics to suddenly have it all disappear and there’s the simple atmospheric guitar floating in the background. And like the press release says, at the very end I decided to add some Mellotron for the first time as a main part of the recording in one of our songs.
The only other fact I can say about this song is it’s one of the very rare times I had the lyrics before the music. Usually, I write lyrics to complement a song we’re already working on, this time I had jotted some down long before but felt they fit the tone.”
For first-time listeners, Alex says, “As for expecting from our music, I’m terrible at answering that. Haha. We are a two-piece and write/record music with the knowledge we need to perform it live with just vocals, guitar, and drums. So we make sure every riff, lyric, drum beat, etc. is interesting while feeling complete. We’ve started from scratch on many new songs when we realize it’s not going anywhere or doesn’t keep our interest. Atmosphere, interesting lyrics, dynamics and melody are all important to us.”
“Dalia” begins with a crushingly doomy electric guitar riff, its driving sound highlighted nicely by ethereal Mellotron notes sustained by the hypnotic rhythms of the drums. The heaviness soon gives way to a more reflective passage at 2:15, with a soft, reverbed guitar motif repeating and adding further to the entrancing feel established by the percussion, while the droning Mellotron nicely highlights the track’s contemplative vocals that later join in. The relatively quiet mid-section of “Dalia” builds up perfectly to the return of the distorted riffs a little over 7 minutes into the track, which harmonize quite well with the Mellotron and vocals—ultimately leading into the track’s epic conclusion, where the guitar is filtered through some very cool effects that bring an icy, robotic quality. “Dalia” is quite an enjoyable listen throughout, showcasing Murnau’s brilliant songwriting and superb musicianship; I would highly recommend this track to fans of shoegaze, grunge, and doom metal alike.
“Dalia is only asking for 12 minutes of your time. We guarantee she’s worth it.” – Alex Riggen
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