Release Date: November 22, 2019
Format: Digital and physical
Location: Denver, Colorado
- Jaime Noah: drums
- Luca Grieman: guitars
- Megan Kelley: lead vocals and keyboards
- Travis Rosen: bass and backing vocals
Favorite Tracks: Awakening, Stray, Burn, Taken, Shimmer and Valkyrie
Sounds Like: Bauhaus, Sisters of Mercy, The Room In The Wood, Mazzy Star, Gary Numan, The Damned (Darkwave Era), and Dead Can Dance.
As old man winter enters Colorado. Everything seems to slow down. It’s pitch black by 5pm, the pumpkins from Halloween are beginning to rot. The temperature is a constant 45 degrees. It’s great weather for some Gothic post punk tunes from Denver’s Married A Dead Man. They are set to play Goosetown Tavern on November 22, 2019 for their new album release, “Awakening”. Tickets are moving and are limited to only 100!
hours minutes seconds
Release Party Starts
I have always felt a good album contains a story line. This story line may be deep and meaningful. Or maybe a group of musicians having a great time making music? Every song has its own story. Denver’s Married A Dead Man is one of those bands. With each release a story line is set. We reviewed their last release here, https://coloradopunkrockarmy.com/2018/10/12/married-a-dead-man-haunt/
The first track, “Overture”, provides a dark, grimy, and haunting introduction. This is a beautiful and haunting song. The movie is set to begin. “Awakening” is next with synth sounds reminiscent of Nine Inch Nails, “Dead Souls”. Kelley’s voice is energetic, yet blends well with the amazing drum work, and excellent guitar. This is a buildup to a pure, awakening from the depths.
I have to admit the next song, “Stray” hit me very hard. This anti-gun track is emotionally charged and left me pondering this. How many have to die at the hands of gun violence? How many more children will be gunned down like lambs to the slaughter? This song is incredible and has very strong potential.
“Shaken by bullets all flying aroundMarried A Dead Man – “Stray”
Pick up the bodies that lie on the ground
With thoughts and prayers as we sink in despair
Twenty years past yet we still look elsewhere”
“Burn” follows with a beautiful piano introduction. This track has an awesome industrial sound. It’s almost as if there’s a full orchestra behind Kelley and the band. The buildup towards the end of the track is unexpected, but done brilliantly. “Bleed” is the next song. A relationship over, yet an awakening has begun to reclaim the soul.
The drum work on the song is excellent. The synth dances as a playful witch explores her new surroundings. I love this song! The band fully displays each of their own mastered styles. There’s an impressive guitar riff that blends seamlessly with the track.
“Taken”, gets dark and mysterious. The song progresses the story line while bouncing between self reflection and taking action. The imagery in this sad tale is deep and I felt it was best to reach out to the band for comment. I spoke with Vocalist/Keyboardist Megan Kelley.
CPRA: Can you go into more detail about the song “Taken?”
Megan Kelley: Absolutely. This song is somewhat painful to discuss and is very personal. It’s about rape. The lyrics are two fold: they discuss the victim begging to be freed and let go by the rapist, “stop/not that/this, please free my wrists. Choke/spit/hit/piss, I want to live” while toggling between the victim having an out of body experience to cope with the assault as it occurs “I’m floating high above. What should I think of?”
It also makes the point of how victims feel after getting assaulted: how they feel completely unattractive, detached, scarred, and how they view being seen differently by others. “Played out your fantasy, tied to my canopy. I was a bride-to-be, now no one touches me.” The song explores the fight-flight-freeze response to getting attacked in the first verse.
When we play this song live, often times I will discuss the personal nature of this song and always stress that it’s never the victim’s fault. I hope that with open dialogue about sexual assault it will help more victims find a place of healing. Rape is about control, and the best way to take back your control is to talk about your experience when you are ready.
I hope that our music can help anyone who has experienced anything like this. I have often feared being pitied or seen solely as a victim. My public “face” is not one to show or admit vulnerability, but writing about these experiences and feelings truly has helped me in many ways.” Thank you Megan for sharing your story!
“Shimmer” follows and slows the album down. It’s calming, as it explores the sub consciousness. The bass shines on the track. This is another track where I felt it would be great to hear Kelley’s thoughts.
CPRA: Can you go into more detail about the song “ Shimmer ?”
Megan Kelley: “Shimmer is about floating away in the ocean. The suicide aspect is a metaphor for self acceptance and peace within yourself; it’s not necessarily about suicide, but it’s also inspired by how Virginia Woolf killed herself (which was by drowning herself in a river after weighing herself down with rocks in her pockets.) That kind of self acceptance really comes from making absolute peace with oneself, so I thought that the beach setting was fitting for this kind of peaceful acceptance. I grew up on the East Coast.
Being near the ocean is something that I’m very accustomed to and love. The initial inspiration behind the song was the beauty of the ocean, and how much a beach scene is so peaceful and quiet. “I dip my toe in, dreaming of floating. I swim the ocean, the salt is cleansing. Feeling absolution, I can go peacefully.” Another big WOW from this writer!
“Keening” follows up with some edgy drums and guitar. By far one of the darkest tracks. It sounds like it could’ve been written by Bauhaus, yet retains that amazing MADM sound. This is another track where I felt it would be great if the band could offer some insight.
CPRA: Can you go into more detail about the song “Keening?”
Megan Kelley: Sure! This one was really fun to write. The band writes all the music collaboratively, and I write most of the lyrics and melody. Travis (bass) also writes some of our lyrics and melodies. We have a song about witches. We have a song about the Valkyrie. We really wanted to write about banshees. This was nice for me to research because I am half Irish…and really went deep into the folklore rabbit hole during the research process.
Like a lot of our music, it has a theme about women. Some songs are personal, like “Taken,” “Bleed,” or “Run,” and some songs are about strong women in mythology/history that we find interesting.There is a common misnomer that a banshee could put a curse on you if she came to visit. Really, the banshee is simply the messenger, visiting you to warn you that someone in your family will die soon…even as soon as the next day.
Visiting at night, and typically portrayed as a shrouded, older, skinny, kind of scary faced woman with straggly hair, the banshee shrieks her way through the darkness to deliver her message. In Ireland, there is a belief that a certain banshee is assigned to a specific family, and that your assigned banshee would stay with your family forever”. Such a great story! Thanks Megan for the awesome information!
The last track is, “Valkyrie – (Offerings To Odin) Remix. Prepared to be straight up blown away by this kick ass remix. While the original is a bit slower, this remix offers a dance version. This track would fit well in any action movie where a person is bent on revenge. This track seems to culminate the story line of “Awakening”. Fans of 90s house music will love this track. Denver’s Rock Island days are still with us.
In reflection, “Married A Dead Man’s, “Awakening” is a gothic post punk trip through intimate, storytelling, and fascinating composition. Several tracks on the record have great potential for commercial success. EDM may be taking the airwaves, but MADM is proving post punk is still alive and kicking. This album is definitely a nominee for CPRA’s Best Of 2019. You can pick it up on all major platforms after the release show at Goosetown Tavern.
SW US Tour Info!
- Valkyrie (Remix)