In 2013, MONEY released their debut album The Shadow Of Heaven, following only a handful of concerts that felt more like communions in out-of-the-way venues, advertised only by word-of-mouth. The record sounded similarly crafted – all haunted melody and atmosphere, invested with an unusually ambitious and uncompromising lyrical zeal. This was a band that invested as much in what they meant as how they sounded.
Two years on, the new MONEY album, Suicide Songs, takes you deeper into their sound and vision. It feels more advanced and yet simpler, more perfected and yet more open. It is a tender, barren, cavernous, smoldering, despairing and inspirational piece of work.
The creation of Suicide Songs was far from an easy ride. In 2014 singer Jamie Lee moved back to London, with, “the objective of becoming the best writer I could be, writing poetry as well as songs that were connected as kin.” Meanwhile, Billy and Charlie continued to write and produce music in Manchester. Reunited in the city of their formation, Jamie recalls drunkenness and mental ill-health, lost in self-doubt, of “internal disputes about the music’s direction, songs but no palpable direction. The outlook was often fairly bleak. But we stuck together.” Producer Charlie Andrew persuaded MONEY to relocate back to South London and after three months of creativity in a Brixton studio all the earlier strife was suddenly worth it as MONEY emerged with Suicide Songs.
As for that album title. The band is well aware of the potency of two words such as Suicide Songs.
“It seemed to make sense for the period, since I was dabbling with an unworldly attitude toward life, though that’s changed now,” Jamie vouches. “But we don’t want it to come across just in a negative way. We don’t want to glorify mental illness either.”
“Above all else, I’m just trying to project and portray a poetic truth. Suicide is about anonymity, to the point where you don’t exist, which I definitely feel in my songwriting and as a person. But rather than writing myself out of anonymity, I want to remain there, in this record at least. It’s recognizing a kind of sacrificial nature, in making artistic choices. By rummaging around in your feelings and trying to make sense of life, to the detriment of your health, there might be some poetic value to what you have created.”
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MONEY have also announced an extensive UK headline tour to follow the release of the album. You can keep up with them on their Facebook. For us here in the US, they have announce a drop by at SXSW in March.