Aromanticism – by Moses Sumney

Welcome to my 2nd write up of an AOTM. First it was the write-up of Plunge by Fever Ray that I wrote before finding out that it was not released on CD yet. The second is an album that I chose Plunge over initially. The first reason for this is that I am committed, long term lover of The Knife and Fever Ray and wanted to take the opportunity to choose an artist who has meant so much to me for such a long time. The second reason was that David chose a ‘soul’ album for for the November album and I thought this might be a bit ‘samey’ for the following month. However, I have listened to this and Jordan Rakei back to back a few times and in doing so am pretty confident that this is a different enough proposition to propose for the festive edition of AOTM.

Apparently Moses Sumney falls into the sub-wanky-genre of ‘Art-Soul’. Have you heard this term before? I hadn’t and didn’t/don’t really understand it. I was expecting this to be a lot more ‘noodle’ given this art-soul description. While the tracks rarely fit verse / chorus / verse structure, i do feel its relatively conventional and accessible. I have had this in my life for a few months now and it has delivered more over time. I am sue that I think this is absolutely a soul album. But it is a very sparse, austere, often fragile but always perfectly beautiful version of ‘soul’. The album relies heavily on the blues, melancholy and introspection.

This feels like an album of it’s time without borrowing contemporary tropes and production flourishes from it’s recent ‘R&B’ cousins. Again this is perhaps closer to Michael Kiwanuka than it is Jordan Rakei? I think the brothers will like it at first, and those brothers that stick with it will love it.

7 comments

  1. David Allison

    Happy New Year brothers!

    Listened to it on the long drive down to the New Forest, and Caroline announced, ‘This is way too noodly for me, but I bet you’ll like it’. I think she’s probably right. Still early days on my listening, and there’s a lot to take in, but I’m already really intrigued, and there some great moments already leaping out. More as soon as I’ve spent a bit more time with it…

    • nolankane706

      My innitial thoughts were ‘Geez, look at the song names, depressing. Don’t listen to this alone’. There is an arguement that this is good advice for some of the tracks but over all it’s not as grim as the song names will lead you to believe.

      Lets talk about the elephant in the room, this album is a grower not a shower. The first time for example I listened to ‘Lonely’ I wasn’t feeling it, though on the sencing time around I really liked it. Albums like this need an entry song, one that you buy into, for me it was ‘Doomed’. What can I say, I’m a sucker for depressing love songs.

      I can’t pinpoint who I think he sounds like. Maybe Al Green’s grandson? Sorry, a better answer is in my head but I can’t get to it at the moment. Who over he’s like, he’s super smooth. I take the point that he’s noodly and you need to be in the right mood. There is a bit over over kill on the noddle on some tracks. I’ve been listening to him with my headphones on whilst working and it’s perfect. I thinkk there’s lots to get your head around but he’s ace.

      I think ‘Make Out In My Car’ pretty lack lustre. It’s like he needed one more song for the album and couldn’t be assed. My other gripe is ‘Stoicism’. I put that in the same category as the interludes int he De La Soul first choice album.

      Other than those two tracks I struggle to find fault in this album, infact I really like it. It’s one that will still grow on me for sure. Good choice brother Joseph!

    • misterstory

      Thanks for sharing Brother. It is a grower not a shower (great phrase). And that works on levels too. I am still finding this album open up to me more and more. Additional listens really are rewarding I find. I’ve no issue with the ‘skits’ or what ever those little tracks are called. I find them consistent and revealing and part of the overall ‘soundscape’ if that’s not way to wanky a comment. I know where you’re coming from but I fell in love with this album and probably forgive these little things.

      You’re right about the ‘entry’ tracks into an album like this, the ones that bring you back for more – for me they were ‘Lovers Quarrel’ and ‘Doomed’ in that order, followed by Lonely World. Doomed is my standout though. I can listen to that on repeat for a proper chunk of time.

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