Manchester trio, MONEY, release their sophomore album, Suicide Songs on 29th January. Their critically acclaimed début will be a hard act to follow but their penchant for the dramatic, the poetic and the beautiful stands them in good stead.
MONEY have the kind of sound I can only listen to in the right mood, it’s big, it’s intricate and it can quite often feel chaotic. Furthermore, in spite of the subject matter it is built on, but it all blends into something really quite stunning. Suicide Songs was written on the back of front-man, Jamie Lee struggling to find self-worth in the wake of the success of their début. As you can imagine, he was writing in a dark place and the overall feel of the album teeters on a knife edge between joy and pain. This is reflected both musically, vocally and lyrically with drawn out euphoric guitar and visceral vocals throughout.
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The band have taken a layered approach to writing their songs, building simple themes into an epic sound which ebbs and flows hypnotically from start to finish. Not shy of using falsetto vocals and crescendos with some new instruments, they feature traditional strings, piano. They even feature an Indian dilruba on the opening track I Am The Lord. Jamie’s approach to writing lyrics is poetic and poignant and each song leaves it’s own impression. It’s not always possible to grasp the true meaning of his penned thoughts but that in itself is part of the album’s intrigue; trying to work out what he was feeling. There are a few stand out lines for me such as the near biblical “oh i pray you're never lonely and that leads you all to love / i pray you're never empty but cannot fathom the Above / i pray for your children and that their wishes be understood / by their masters and their minds and are not buried in the flood” in I’ll be the Night, with an obvious reference to God.
All My Life features the words “i'm not ashamed of what i'm doing / but i'm ashamed of what i've done / i will meet you in the garden / that will grow when we are gone” which reflect on feelings we have no doubt, all felt at some point. While he seems to have slipped into a place of despair, it was not for nothing as he has turned that dark period into a thing of beauty that shows us all that you can bounce back from it.
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It’s unlikely to leave you feeling warm and fuzzy by the finish and much like the band, I have no wish to glorify mental health issues, but for those of us that have suffered, this is worth a listen as it may make you feel less alone in your experiences.
This beautifully crafted LP isn’t the kind of album you can listen to in part, as the songs are all a part of each-other. In the truest sense MONEY really have crafted this work as an album but take the time and listen carefully, as Suicide Songs might just set your soul on fire.