Rarely does an artist put forth work so truly genre defying that it leaves the listener entirely stupefied. However, so much has been accomplished by self-taught musician Moses Sumney, brought up by strict Ghanaian parents who offered little to no encouragement for his musical skill. Accordingly slow to debut his immense talent, a shy Sumney first started performing in his early 20s, having written songs and sung privately since early adolescence. As he nears the much-anticipated release of his first full length album Aromanticism, the well deserved hype surrounding him continues to multiply exponentially, affording him slots performing alongside veterans such as Karen O, Erykah Badu, St. Vincent, and Sufjan Stevens, to name a few.
Sumptuously delicate, “Quarrel” possesses such an otherworldly beauty that the question stands whether Moses Sumney isn’t some sort of extraterrestrial being sent to Earth to spread radiance over the grayscale of our existence. Unexpected harp arpeggios are scattered amongst Sumney’s ethereal vocal harmonies like gold dust, bolstered by the deliciously rich vibrations of string bass. Beyond its stunning musicality, the song functions as a relevant statement about the inherent inequality in modern society, proclaiming “If I don’t have tools to fight / Calling this a quarrel isn’t right.” All of these elements combine to form a uniqueness so complete that any listener not stopped dead in their tracks by the song may very well be deaf.
Only big things are in store for Moses Sumney as he embarks on a US and European tour in support of his first LP, including a sold out Hollywood Bowl show supporting Solange. If you missed getting tickets, Sumney will be back at the El Rey on October 21st. Surely it’s a can’t-miss opportunity to catch a true artist at the beginning of his inevitable rise.