I discovered Moses Sumney at Justin Vernon‘s music festival Eaux Claires, in Wisconsin earlier this year. He came out on stage to perform with James Blake (he’s now opening for him on tour) and his own full set the following day (which was entirely solo save for a guitarist on a couple tracks) was one of the most gripping, impressive live shows I have ever seen in my life.
Sumney has this incredible knack for using and manipulating his stunning voice, with a range and tone that reminds me of Jeff Buckley, injecting it with wild emotion, and surrounding it with resoundingly compelling loops, harmonies, beats and production.
Seeing him construct these multi-layered pieces in front of my eyes was phenomenal. On record he managers to capture that intimacy, almost painful in its magnification of every sound, every word, while still stretching out the soundscape with added layers and production.
Lonely World sees him really open up his soundscape a lot wider than much of his earlier output, using bigger instrumentation and percussive elements. In particular is that sprawling, frenetically tumbling bass, courtesy of none other than Kendrick Lamar, Childish Gambino and Erykah Badu collaborator Thundercat.
In a nutshell: If you want to be blown away, listen to Moses Sumney.
Sumney will be releasing a new EP, Lamentations, on September 30.