screams, whispers and songs from planet earth

Tag: Manchester UK

Introducing… MONEY

Feeling emotional on this full moon Christmas night? Here’s the perfect soundtrack. “I’ll Be The Night” is the lead single from Manchester band MONEY’s sophomore album, the cheerily titled Suicide Songs (coming out on Bella Union on January 29th). It’s all about sad, wistful strings, brass and acoustic guitar with yearning yet hopeful vocals. This is heart-opening stuff, folks, so it’s ok if you need to shed a few tears into your adult beverage. Don’t despair, though; there’s always hope.

“When I was a child, I made a deal against the sun/ That if it died out that I would carry on.” – I’ll Be The Night

Songs on the forthcoming album are multi-layered with piano, guitars, strings, percussion, lofty vocals and gospel backing vocals. There’s an expansive feel with orchestral, psychedelic and Indian flavorings throughout that blend beautifully to breathtaking effect.

If that first single isn’t depressing enough, they’ve released a live version of another song from the album, a charming little viola and piano dirge that builds into a defiant celebration called “A Cocaine Christmas And An Alcoholic’s New Year,” just in time for the already emotionally treacherous holiday season.

“The people are talking like they’re winning
like the world starts spinning
like they’re in control
like they’re Marilyn Monroe at a cocktail party
I’m somewhat ugly like Jean Genet
and I’ve wasted all my time on cocaine at Christmas and bottles of wine
and I was happy as a child
’cause you don’t have to ask me why.”

Sweet jesus. Thanks, guys. Just kidding; it’s magnificent. ::: Download it for FREE ::: and Happy Christmas.

The band formed in 2011 and after putting out four singles, released their debut album The Shadow Of Heaven in 2013 (on Bella Union). They’ve performed at several U.K. and European festivals and set out on their own headlining tours. They played a few U.S. shows (NYC and LA) in the fall of 2014. Here’s hoping for a wider U.S. tour next year.

For now though, you can pre-order Suicide Songs as a standard CD or LP album or a special bundle with screen prints. MONEY will be embarking on a European tour to support the new album, beginning on February 1 at Rough Trade in London. From there they hit other parts of the U.K., France, The Netherlands, Germany, Denmark, Sweden, Belgium, Austria, Italy and Switzerland. No word on the U.S. as of yet.

And what of the mournful sentiments and depressing album title? Frontman, singer and songwriter Jamie Lee explains his muse as such:

“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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Introducing… The Slow Readers Club

I don’t often like comparing bands to other bands, because that can seem limiting — and I like my bands to always surprise me. But upon listening to The Slow Readers Club, and in particular their single release, “Plant The Seed” from their latest album Cavalcade, I immediately thought of ’80s Depeche Mode, and I mean that in absolutely the best way possible. They’ve also been (rightly) compared to Joy Division, Interpol and The National. But they take that gloomy vibe and do their own unique thing with it. Yes, there are those familiar dark tones along with their trancey electro-pop, but it’s then interwoven with a falsetto vocal here and there, going back and forth, and the result is shiver inducing.

Based in Manchester, U.K., their debut single was “Sirens,” which appeared on their 2011 debut album. That song was strongly supported by Q Radio, NME and BBC Introducing, and they’ve built up a big following since then, with additional airplay on BBC 6Music, r101 (Italy) and Virgin Radio (Italy). They’ve performed at various festivals such as the Isle Of Wight, Party in the Pines and the Blackthorn Festival.

One thing I found especially haunting and compelling was a stripped-down performance of “I Saw A Ghost” at Manchester Library — stunning. This kind of acoustic session is a very big deal for me because it’s there that exceptional musicianship truly shines. Bravo!

Slow Readers Club are currently in the midst of a U.K. tour. They’ll be in Liverpool on the 27th, Manchester on the 28th, Preston on December 5 and in Glasgow, Scotland on December 12. See their official site for details. See them if you can and pick up Calvalcade (on Scruff Of The Neck Records).

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