Music For Film: Tramps! & Women Against The Bomb
Released: 12th May 2023

MEMORIALS is the new band of Verity Susman (Electrelane’s frontwoman) and Matthew Simms (Wire, Better Corners, It Hugs Back, UUUU). Their first release – a double album titled ‘Music For Film’ – is out via The state51 Conspiracy. It was written, performed, recorded and produced by the duo, veering from melodic songwriting to psychedelic noise, free jazz freakouts, tape loops and drones, and then back again.

The two albums ‘Tramps!’ and ‘Women Against The Bomb’ were originally conceived as film soundtracks, and while they still adhere to that original concept, the band’s desire to play live and make music outside of soundtracks mean both albums can be viewed independently from the films with which they are associated.


Verity and Matthew met in 2007 when they were both on the label Too Pure – Verity with Electrelane and Matthew with It Hugs Back. In 2010 WIRE asked Matthew to join the band to fill their vacant guitarist role. Throughout the 2010s Verity and Matthew collaborated when they got the chance, and in 2020 they decided to start working together on soundtracks - it was something they were both doing individually and both had become tired of working alone. Both are songwriters and multi-instrumentalists, both have experience in electronic music production, and between them they play a wide range of instruments: Verity is from keyboard world, Matthew from guitar world; Verity plays wind instruments, Matthew plays drums and percussion; Matthew is skilled as a recording engineer and mixer, and Verity has trained in Western classical composition.

The two soundtracks which make up ‘Music For Film’ came along in 2021 and gave them a focus for working on something together, and what had been just a vague idea of collaborating became a matter of getting a lot of music written and recorded in a short space of time, across a range of styles.In a way they formed a band in reverse. They didn’t have any intention of starting a band when they did the soundtracks together, but after a screening of ‘Women Against The Bomb’ in Paris they were offered a gig, and that became the catalyst for starting MEMORIALS.

The albums are clearly influenced by the world of the films, but still sound like the duo at their best, combining beautiful songwriting with improvised freakouts, inhabiting a world of controlled chaos. On these two records they move convincingly from psychedelic drones to jangly guitar pop, from choral harmonies to experimental sound college.

“The music we like and admire ranges from challenging to really tuneful, and we try to bring all that together in a way that sounds natural.”

On Tramps! - Verity met Kevin Hegge (writer and director) in 2013 after a screening of his first documentary film She Said Boom at the BFI London Lesbian & Gay Film Festival (now called BFI Flare). In 2021 he asked the duo to write the score for his documentary film Tramps! about the lesser-known figures of the New Romantic movement. The director wanted some of the electronic sounds of the era to come through in the soundtrack and he also wanted something contemporary that reflected the DIY ethos of the artists featured in the film. The duo leaned in to proto-electronic and industrial music – music that was made when the bands didn’t have fancy drum machines or high-end equipment so they were making rhythms with noise gates and synthesisers, using primitive equipment, but with the aspiration to do something great.

On Women Against The Bomb - Sonia Gonzalez (writer and director) had been in touch with Verity during the making of her previous documentary film, Revolution, Riot Grrrl Style (2014). In 2021 she asked the duo to compose the soundtrack to her documentary film Women Against The Bomb, a film about the women’s peace camp at Greenham Common in the 1980s. She asked for the soundtrack to include songs that sound like they could have been sung at the peace camp, as well as references to the alternative music of the ‘80s.

"This is an album to savour. It delivers big results in the present and hints at even bigger ones in the future" - Clash

“An engagingly eclectic debut” - UNCUT

"Despite being two different soundtracks, Music for Film is the best new record I've listened to for a while. The album takes you beyond the imagined boundaries of music - surpassing space, forgetting time - then plants you back down again" - NARC Magazine

"With its unstoppable energy and spiky riffs, the song is an homage to women who have been fighting for equality. Hence, the track’s name that refers to the British national heroine" - Louder Than War

“This album creates its own cinematic imagery in your consciousness as you listen and it’s a divinely tuneful, yet confrontational racket.” - Wire

"beautifully wrought songwriting and improvised freakouts, inhabiting a world of controlled chaos" - The Quietus