About to embark on their first UK tour, the London date of which sold out within a few days, MONEY will be releasing their debut album The Shadow of Heaven on 26th August via Bella Union Records. Recorded in London through the deep, dark winter of 2012/13, it's an ethereal, transcendent record that's notable for its musical and intellectual ambition. Though ambition is perhaps not quite the right word. Because MONEY would never talk about ambition. Such things don't sit well with them. They'd talk about anti-ambition and the revision of existing values - the kind of bold gesture already signalled by their unabashedly iconic name. It's an album that defies convention and cliché, asking us instead to be courageous enough to see the world in different ways. As lead singer and ideologue Jamie Lee says, 'Our aim with this band - in all things we do - is to create the world afresh on our own terms.'
MONEY are Jamie Lee, Charlie Cocksedge, Billy Byron and Scott Beaman. Having formed in Manchester amidst a prolific underground milieu, they soon came to embody the passion, creativity and optimism of a new generation of artists and musicians who found themselves presented with what Jamie describes as 'an extraordinary, poetic city'. MONEY played shows in esoteric venues such as Salford's Sacred Trinity Church and 'the Bunker', a former factory near Strangeways Prison and home to the cult independent label SWAYS, who released the band's debut 7" single, 'Who's Going to Love You Now' / 'Goodnight London' to wide acclaim. Having been tracked down by Simon Raymonde, the band subsequently signed to Bella Union, headlining the label's Christmas party at the Union Chapel before taking to the studio to record 'The Shadow of Heaven'.
The album consists of ten songs that range from stripped-back piano ballads such as 'Goodnight London' and 'Black' to the more epic 'Hold Me Forever' and 'Bluebell Fields'. Rooted in universal themes of the spirit, love and loss, the album also addresses man's condition in the modern world, issues 'such as isolation and mental health as logical reactions to it', says Jamie. It's an album full of yearning and soul-searching, a voyage of (non-) discovery that only ends up finding itself and the sheer, aching beauty of questions asked in full knowledge of their own answerlessness. It's metaphysics for the modern age, which might not be quite as spiritually bankrupt and bereft of meaning as we once believed.
UK Tour Dates:
June 9 - Hare & Hounds- Birmingham, England
June 10 - King Tuts - Glasgow, Scotland
June 11 - Leaf - Liverpool, England
June 13 - The Waiting Room - London, England
June 14 - Trades Club - Hebden Bridge, England
July 12 - Festival Square & Pavilion Theatre - Manchester, England [Manchester International Festival]
July 13 - Festival Square & Pavilion Theatre - Manchester, England [Manchester International Festival]
July 19 - The Gatsby,Tramlines - Sheffield, England
July 21 - Latitude Festival - Southwold, England
August 8 - Way Out West - Goteburg, Sweden
August 15 - Green Man Festival - Brecon Beacons, Wales
August 30 - End of the Road - Dorset, England
September 4 - Kantine am Berghain - Berlin, Germany
September 5 - Übel & Gefährlich - Hamburg, Germany
September 7 - Deep in the Woods - Massembre, Belgium
'Smalls Change (Meditations Upon Ageing)' arrives in April.
The two awards have made for a great 72nd birthday present for the country music icon.