When the Los Angeles, CA-based singer/songwriter Moses Sumney was growing up, he avidly wrote songs but he was so painfully shy that he would hide them inside his mattress. Sumney moved out of his parents’ house when he turned 20 to study creative writing at UCLA and after he bought a used guitar from a friend, the young singer/songwriter taught himself how to play guitar and finally gathered the courage to perform music. And once he started to perform, Sumney not only grew as an artist, he quickly found himself sharing bills with some of UCLA’s most accomplished and esteemed artists.
After graduation, Sumney has started to gain quite a bit of attention including breathless praise form the likes of Spin Magazine, Pigeons and Planes, Okayplayer, and several other sources for a sound that manages to be effortlessly soulful and achingly plaintive with a spectral beauty. And this kind of praise comes as a result of a nubmer of live shows and the release of a few singles… . In some way, aesthetically Sumney’s sound bears a resemblance to Nick Hakim – both artists create an ethereal soundscape with lyrics that possess a soul bearing intimacy of the sort that comes up from late night conversations influenced by alcohol, loneliness, desperation and strangely enough, hope – that is hope that this time, you can find connection with someone who truly understands you.
I recently caught Moses Sumney open for Blood Orange at their Okayplayer 15th Anniversary Show at Summerstage, Central Park. And as i was in the photographer’s pit, I stopped dead in my tracks when I heard “Man on the Moon.” Interestingly, Sumney’s sound and process is very deliberate – employing the use of a sampler, Sumney loops handclaps, his own voice and other effects over electronic beats, and his own guitar. Watching the process live was fascinating but it should be as Sumney himself quickly struck me as being so incredibly likable. I think that the entire world needs to know about this talented young brother.