Moses Sumney Aromanticism Jagjaguwar
For an album titled Aromanticism, Moses Sumney’s debut is bizarrely intimate. As his dulcet falsetto laces together delicate acoustic structures, you might be under the impression that you’re listening to classic love confessionals. But as the lyrics creep through the honeyed instrumentation, the opposite becomes true.
With each unexpected turn, the album’s platonic vision nudges further into focus. The tranquil single Plastic warns that things are not always quite as they seem. On Make Out in My Car, the singer repeats sweetly with a Smokey Robinson-esque husk: “I’m not trying to go to bed with you, I just wanna make out in my car” and as the harmonies build hypnotically, you almost start to believe him. The revelatory interlude Stoicism avoids cliché as Sumney recounts plainly telling his mother he loves her, only for her to reply with a sigh and a ‘thank you’.
The album dips sporadically into the worlds of jazz and experimentation, with tinkering keys and teasing percussion, but for the most part Sumney’s voice is the boldest and most breathtaking element. The most hair-raising tracks centre around his two favourite instruments: guitar and his trademark timbre. As such, Aromanticism is a pensive journey through dreamlands but also incredibly candid. Sumney succeeds in constructing a distinct conceptual space for his audience, one that finds a new home for sentimentality and tenderness. The only question would be whether that space, that sound, is expansive enough to occupy without beginning to feel a little claustrophobic.