Music by VICE

Moses Sumney Brought Contemplative Peace to a KEXP Session

Approach with caution if you're feeling vulnerable.

by Lauren O'Neill
Dec 7 2017, 2:51pm

Moses Sumney's Aromanticism was one of 2017's most unique debuts. The album is a celebratory exultation of aloneness, communicated through layered, careful musicianship. And now, in a half-hour session via KEXP, it's given new life as a living, breathing thing.

Moving through a set made up of "Don't Bother Calling," "Quarrel," "Indulge Me," "Doomed," and "Plastic," all taken from Aromanticism, Sumney endows the tracks with even more of a tangible sensitivity than they have on record, the spaces in which he takes breath saying just as much as the lyrics.

The performance is split in the middle by a short interview with KEXP host Cheryl Waters, who asks Sumney about his use of the term 'aromanticism' on the album. Sumney responds: "I was interested in exploring love in a way that was different than what we're familiar with. Not so much 'anti-love songs,' but really kind of questioning love as a social practice." His approach to his subject matter is one that's fairly new—particularly soul and R&B, which are traditionally love-centric genres—but shows that moving across unchartered concepts can make for work which surprises and brings comfort at the same time. That combination is displayed at its best here.

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