MONEY released The Shadow Of Heaven, following only a handful of concerts that were 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, their new 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, by turns, a tender, barren, cavernous, smoldering, despairing and inspirational piece of work. It’s a long day’s journey into night, but it pays huge dividends when you arrive, drawing you in and casting a spell that won’t let go.
Yet as with many great albums, and perhaps appropriately given its title, 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.
Out of a renewed, richer palate of sound, a sense of greater self-belief has emerged. But as its title suggests, Suicide Songs doesn’t shirk from the emotional truths that birthed it. “I wanted the album to sound like it was ‘coming from death’ which is where these songs emerged,” Jamie explains. “The record is morbid and bleak, and never resolves itself. The only real kind of triumphant realization is being able to express the morbidity of the situation I found myself in.”
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.”
Money Tour Dates
Wednesday 10th February – MANCHESTER – Ritz
Thursday 11th February – NOTTINGHAM – Bodega
Friday 12th February – LIVERPOOL – Leaf
Sunday 14th February – GLASGOW – Broadcast
Tuesday 16th February – LEEDS – Belgravia
Thursday 18th February – BIRMINGHAM – Hare & Hounds
Friday 19th February – BRISTOL – Lantern
Monday 22nd February – LONDON – Village Underground
Tuesday 23rd February – BRIGHTON – Green Door Store