We cannot for the life of us recall who it was that tipped us off in a past conversation about the band Money. It was some time last year. We were managing a gig involving the band Binary and discussing prospects for 2012, (perhaps it was with their manager?), so the tip was kindly passed to us and once we got a few spare minutes when back at home we set about searching the band out. We’ve written plenty about the issue of SEO and terribly unhelpful band names at length, (particularly on this post here), which is an issue that we’re sure you can imagine reared it’s ugly head once again with a band called Money. For fuck’s sake. The initial hunt online delivered no music what so ever, although our finances improved with all the ‘advice sites’ we came across instead. Proper help finally arrived as more and more coverage started to filter through about the band in the usual corners of the emerging music world, as we noticed NME recently tipping them for 2012 and we saw that The Guardian featured them earlier this week also.
The quartet call Manchester home, only fuelling the comparisons to fellow Mancs, Wu Lyf, but there’s a broader comparison, not only with their music but also in their ethos it seems. Wu Lyf shunned the media and a long line of enquiring journalists, hiding their image and refusing interviews for much of their emergence, and although we’re not suggesting Money are equally as unwelcoming, they do seem to share an ideology. They talk of music being “sacred“, with a focus on creativity and the ‘art’ in music. It’s something that’s often dismissed as pretentious, but if you think about it in it’s most simple terms, music is an art form, with the medium of notes and using instruments as their tools. Why should an artist care for the media, or looking the part, or acting a certain way, or giving interviews, they just wish to create and you can understand why they resist compromise or dancing to the media’s tunes. Why should a band get a haircut, or add in a beat for commercial appeal, just to meet aesthetic demands that a record deal signature demands? Let them be artists, let them tell the journos to fuck off. Their music is sacred to them and that’s just fine. In fairness they’re not aggressive about it in the same way Wu Lyf were, but they take their music very seriously and wish for the audience to patiently follow along.
The intelligent seriousness continues into the sounds they make. On tracks like Goodnight London a single piano leads the way as singer Jamie Lee delivers a melancholy tale about change and separation. To say it’s stripped down is like stating a pole dancer isn’t very shy, but inside it’s bared bones is a beating heart. It’s dark and stirring, but a touching moment nonetheless, as we awkwardly observe and share the private dialogue. We imagine that this tune was quite a remarkable experience for those that witnessed it when they recently selected to perform live inside Manchester’s Sacred Trinity Church. The echo and the sombre atmosphere suits them. They consider themselves something of a bunch of modern missionaries trying to restore something meaningful and revered about music. There’s a sense why they – and indeed Wu Lyf – select religion as a the backdrop when trying to find a dedicated following. To consecrate a solemn purpose, to purify music, to worship at, not their alter, but music’s alter, should be something that’s cherished, but in a society where religion is a dwindling power, perhaps it’s an image that’s never going to stop the tides of change, no matter how authentic their sermons.
The single, Who’s Going To Love You Now, introduces more from the other band members, allowing their sermons to preach in an elevated atmosphere. The guitars and keys are played in glints and the vocals arrive in gorgeous waves. It’s still resolutely intense but has bliss at it’s centre. They’re trying to push boundaries and stretch over edges, but it seems like its being driven by their own dissatisfaction, which actually bleeds exclusion rather than inclusion into their aesthetic, but they won’t care. What will be interesting to observe is how a band can hone their sound, or deliver a satisfying album if they’re so unsettled with themselves. But that’s the key here. It’s one thing to reject an industry like Wu Lfy did, or to stick to your creative art, no matter whether it satisfies the record companies or not, but will the audience like them when they’re not actually able to like themselves? Improvement comes from wanting to change, but surely you should still try to find satisfaction in the present, even though you can later improve upon it? Who knows what their future holds, particularly if they never look up from any self-absorbed introspection, but you have to honour the challenge they’ve set themselves up for. How else are we going to push the boundaries if true creatives aren’t allowed to flourish because the industry needs to package them up? At a time when the industry is so pervasive and Lana Del Rey had surgery to make her face more attractive, we think it’s actually a positive thing to see a band that aren’t all about the money. (MB)
MONEY – WHO’S GOING TO LOVE YOU NOW