In 2004, inspired by Seattle's ubiquitous Northwestern Crow (Corvus caurinus), Levi Fuller began work on his second album, This Murder Is a Peaceful Gathering, a collection of songs about crows. After several months of writing, he enlisted Brian Deck (Iron & Wine, Califone, Fruit Bats, Ugly Casanova, Modest Mouse, etc.) to produce and mix, and with help from Gillian Lisée (Fruit Bats, Orso, Califone) and Gavin Gregory (Water Kill the Sun), the album was completed over the course of a week at Engine Studios in Chicago. Levi released This Murder Is a Peaceful Gathering on March 7, 2006.
"I don't play the guitar. I do own 2 acoustics and a banjo even - don't have the first notion how to work the damn things, but friends like to come by and strum / pluck 'em every now and then. If I did ever follow the notion I wanted to learn to master these wooden beasts, I'd say I wish I could manage the strings like Levi Fuller. Chiming and bending notes in ways a skilled player should, This murder is a peaceful gathering opens with the hushed & faint swirls of "As the crow flies" - with the ebony bird serving as the albums mascot & overall underlying theme. Having a knowledgeable set of ears and hands around when you're recording an album couldn't harm the path, and Fuller rounded up Brian Deck (yeah, I know!) to produce, mix & perform various instruments on This murder is a peaceful gathering.
"Nowhere near as 'off-kilter' as any of the Red Red Meat catalog (well, the title track comes close), this latest album from the talent that is Levi M. Fuller takes an acoustic base as bridge and - with Deck, I would presume - lays into, under and throughout the albums nine tracks an audible topography that really requires a still room, absolute focus or both to absorb. Take the exceptional fuzzed guitar solo that feeds into "Bread" and escapes through a field of distant percussion, stark cymbals and (I'm guessing) wood blocks. Fullers fitting tone (for an album skirting the reality that is death / murder), is both straight forward and the perfect companion to the array of subsonic layers captured on This Murder.
"Tracks that play out before you like a centuries past poem or mysterious short story (see:'Eyeballs' & 'Migratory Habits,' the later with a true Deck feel to it), I think Poe (Allen, Edgar) would have had this gentleman over for dinner and a eulogy had the dates seen fit.
"Presented in a luxurious Stumptown pressed dual jacket, with multiple winged beings on the disc face - there is 'little left to wish for' says this crow."