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, by turns, a tender, barren, cavernous, smouldering, 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 it very nearly didn't get made.
Before 'The Shadow of Heaven' was even conceived, MONEY had been quietly honing their art in Manchester, where the three members (Jamie Lee, Billy Byron and Charlie Cocksedge) met whilst studying. Only two singles had been released ('Who's Going to Love You Now' on Manchester independent Sways, and 'So Long (God is Dead)' on French independent Almost Musique) before Bella Union tracked them down.
'Suicide Songs' finds the band gelling as never before, framing Jamie's poetic vision with an intuitive grasp of the album's dignified and despairing themes. There are strings and brass, gospel-style backing vocals, and the (Indian stringed) dilruba on the opening 'I Am The Lord'.
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