Money - Suicide Songs (Bella Union) 2

Money – Suicide Songs (Bella Union)

moneyFormed in Manchester in 2011, Money released a couple of singles and played some pretty special shows at unusual venues before signing to the ever-wonderful Bella Union label. June 2013 saw the release of their debut single for the label, the sweepingly majestic ‘Bluebell Fields’, (closely followed by debut album The Shadow Of Heaven), which gave notice that Money were definitely not your average indie band.

Suicide Songs is their second album and is a more organic and earthy sounding record, but one which also continues to expand on the aesthetic of the debut. Singer Jamie Lee is a most convincing frontman and lays his soul bare on, as the album title suggests, songs of pretty weighty lyrical content. If ever a fourth This Mortal Coil album were to be commissioned, then it is easy to imagine Lee being on the hit list of desired vocalists for the collective – he has that other-worldly, and indeed world-weary style that would be a perfect fit.

The song titles also give a clue to the album’s direction; the glorious ‘You Look Like A Sad Painting On Both Sides Of The Sky’ is a stripped back piano and acoustic guitar dream of a song which later benefits from some really effective cello work. “There will be music all around / When they put me in the ground”, sings Lee, and he sounds as if he has given it some serious thought, while simultaneously sounding amused at the thought. Meanwhile, at the end of the album, their ambitious bid for a Christmas hit, ‘Cocaine Christmas And An Alcoholics New Year’ is the cheeriest festive sing-a-long since Malcolm Middleton’s ‘We’re All Going To Die’. This is the stuff that Facebook campaigns for Christmas Number One should really be all about.

‘I Am The Lord’, the first track shared in advance of the album’s release, is a slow-burning opening track, adding subtle layers of instrumentation as it goes, while ‘I’m Not Here’ could almost be an early Waterboys song.

‘Suicide Song’ is more upbeat than expected, and benefits from some nice brass accompaniment, while ‘I’ll Be The Night’ is an excellent choice of single, certainly the most commercial track and one which showcases the many strengths of Money, distilling their qualities into a handy calling card.

The album has a ‘live’ sound throughout, and Producer Charlie Andrew has done a remarkable job of capturing the essence of the band; he has resisted any urge for over-production. It is a really honest-sounding record from start to finish and deserves an elevated place in those end of year lists, which albums released so early in the calendar so rarely seem to manage.


Released 29.01.16

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