Helen Money & Will Thomas team up for debut collaborative album Trace

Photo: Jim Newberry

Incredibly prolific, versatile and visionary cellist Alison Chesley, who performs under the moniker Helen Money, has her hand in many projects and collaborations. For nearly three decades, she has composed for film, theatre and dance, as well playing, touring and working in albums from artists like Mono, Anthrax, Broken Social Scene, Russian Circles, Chris Connelly, Shellac, Neurosis, Earth and many more. Her latest project sees her joining forces with composer and producer Will Thomas, with whom she has frequently collaborated. They have announced the release of Trace, which marks their debut collaborative full-length album. The pair’s prowess for invoking emotion is palpable in the upcoming record, and according to the press release, “they each use their highly developed means of conveying emotion through sound and their collaborative natures to accentuate the emotional arc of the compositions”. On the upcoming album, Chesley and Thomas “utilize timbre, tone and dynamics as essential tools in crafting stunning emotive narratives. Together, the duo wield sound with inquisitive aplomb, burrowing into each other’s sonic aesthetics and unearthing irrefutable beauty.”

Trace is set for release on May 12th through Thrill Jockey and ahead of it the pair have shared the striking first single ‘Thieves’. Here it is.

Helen Money set to release new album, Atomic, in March; shares opening track ‘Midnight’

Performing under the moniker Helen Money, Alison Chesley is an incredibly prolific, versatile and visionary cellist, with projects and collaborations aplenty under her sleeve. Having composed for film, theatre and dance, Chesley has also played, toured and worked in albums from artists like Mono, Anthrax, Broken Social Scene, Russian Circles, Chris Connelly, Shellac, Neurosis, Earth and many more. She has announce the release of a new album as Helen Money, entitled Atomic. Classically trained on the cello, Chesley has been manipulating and exploring her instrument for years, displaying an ability to draw deep emotion from her bow and strings. On her upcoming record, and as the press release explains, she “pushes even further out towards the extremes of her output with a daring leap forward in her songwriting through minimalist arrangements that stand as her most intimate, direct, and emotionally bare work to date.” Speaking about the period when she wrote Atomic, Chesley remarked:

“After my parents passed away, we had to find new ways to be – with ourselves and each other. The whole process brought us closer together, strengthening the bonds between the three of us; between us and our friends; between us and my extended family. My sister and brother and I would often get together at my brother’s house in the Redwoods of Northern California. Being there with them, looking up at these giant trees that were there long before we were, looking up at the Milky Way, looking out at the Pacific Ocean – it just gave me a sense of perspective and how connected we all are to everything.”

We’ll have to wait until March 20th for the album release through Thrill Jockey but we can already immerse ourselves in ethereal and poignant  opening track ‘Midnight’.