MOSES SUMNEY makes entrancing, experimental “future music” on his epic new album “græ.” In-stock now at HORIZON’s webstore or available for curbside delivery!

The Road To græ
Since emerging in 2014 with his self-released cassette EP, Mid-City Island, MOSES SUMNEY has ridden a wave of word-of-mouth praise, hushed recordings, and dynamic live performances at distinguished festivals around the world and alongside forebears like David Byrne, Karen O, Sufjan Stevens, and Solange. In a voice both mellifluous and haunting, Sumney makes future music that transmogrifies classic tropes, like moon-colony choir reinterpretations of old jazz gems. His lyrics narrate a personal journey through universal loneliness atop otherworldly compositional backdrops.

In 2017, The California and Ghana-raised troubadour widened the spectrum of his heretofore “bedroom” music with his debut album Aromanticism, a concept record about lovelessness as a sonic dreamscape. Released to great critical acclaim, Aromanticism was widely regarded as one of 2017’s best albums.

For the followup, Sumney turned towards a sound that he spent years searching for.

It began in 2013, when he first tried to break into the Los Angeles music scene — and got interest from record labels almost immediately.

“I expected to spend many years totally grinding in obscurity,” Sumney says of his early experience in the music industry. “So, in a lot of ways, it was living the dream, ‘making it,’ making a name for myself in the music industry — but also discovering that it’s not all it’s cracked up to be.”

The experience didn’t sit right with him. Sumney felt typecast by the labels, pushed into a certain image while he was still searching for his own unique sound. So he turned the labels down, eventually moving to Asheville, N.C. and away from the hub of the music industry. That resistance to labels is reflected in Sumney’s music: Across two discs, grae is all about defying expectation, genre and categorization.

The New Album
On græ, Sumney lets out everything inside of him. The album is bigger, in every sense, a 20-song double album that Sumney saw fit to release in two parts (the first half of the album appeared in February). Where Aromanticism was intimate and sleek, græ is rangy, sprawling, a riot of moods from lustful to angry to broken-hearted. He has summoned a battalion of collaborators, including production from Daniel Lopatin, basslines from Thundercat, saxophone from Shabaka Hutchings, horn parts from the English art-rock group Adult Jazz, writing credits from James Blake and author Michael Chabon. Everything Sumney’s ever done or tried to do is here.

“Virile,” the single that preceded “Polly,” is in many ways more representative of the album’s omnivorous ambition. In the video, Sumney convulses across the fog-swirled floor of a meat locker, his body as flawless as a marble statue while carcasses swing behind him on hooks. The lyrics are a withering send-up of the pointlessness of toxic masculinity in a world where the body inevitably turns “to dust and matter.” “Cheers to the patriarchs,” he sings bitterly over bludgeoning stabs of guitar from Noah Kardos-Fein of the NYC noise-rock duo Yvette and string arrangements from Rob Moose. Like Perfume Genius’ Mike Hadreas, Sumney mingles the cerebral and the carnal, eroticism and disgust, until the sensations are indistinguishable.

He also shares Hadreas’ yearning to escape his own shell. On “Gagarin,” which interpolates a piece by the late Swedish pianist Esbjorn Svensson, Sumney sings in a pitched-down voice of wanting to “surrender my life to something bigger than me.” Sumney’s voice pours like tar onto the sound of a jazz piano and eventually the whole track turns ectoplasmic. The final minute sounds like the birth of a universe, with synths streaking like stardust before melting down amid the formless cries of Sumney’s digitally altered voice. The HD sheen of the mix—you can practically see the air tremble around the cymbal splashes—is a bold contrast with the formless abstraction of the music, like a private-press 1970s new age record remastered by Dr. Dre.

The most powerful moments on græ examine the distance between this wariness and the loneliness it produces. “I am not at peace with dying alone/But I am not at war either,” he sings on “Neither/Nor,” a negation that might be Sumney’s most resounding statement of self. His music is unique in the chilly way it yearns for warmth; he can often be coy, flirtatious, beseeching. “Sometimes I want to kiss my friends/You don’t want that…do ya?/You just want someone to listen to ya/Who ain’t tryna screw ya,” he croons on “In Bloom.” The stacked harmony vocals bear down on the line “Sometimes I want to kiss my friends,” and it proves as indelible, and maybe more meaningful, than his ideas about patriarchy or creative sovereignty.

The album highlights—lullabies like “Lucky Me” or “Me In 20 Years”— come from a place where Sumney often finds himself: his glittering voice, resplendent and alone, aching in solitude. This is the range of the coffeehouse whisper, his hand atop yours on the table. This is still where we feel him most.

græ is in-stock now at HORIZON RECORDS‘ webstore along with these other Moses Sumney titles, and it’s available on LP and CD for curbside pickup. Click HERE to visit the webstore, or call 864-235-7922 to arrange for curbside pickup!

  • TECHNICS SL-D202 turntable
    The semi-auto SL-D202 was introduced in 1981 as the replacement of the D2 model. They continued the tradition of employing a high quality direct drive motor and great sounding tone arm. The cue control was moved to the outside of the table for easier access. This turntable has been professionally […]
  • TECHNICS SLD2 TURNTABLE w/ custom paint job
    The semi-auto SL-D2 is the workhorse of the Technics family. Time has proven this model extremely reliable due to its high-quality direct drive motor and tone arm. This unit features a unique (and very handsome) custom paint job and has been professionally inspected, refurbished, lubricated and has […]
  • Yamaha 5-disc Carousel CD Player
    Tons of programming options and 18bit digital conversion (w/ 8 X oversampling)! Heavy duty unit and professionally inspected and refurbished!     […]
  • Thorens MM 008 Pre-amplifier
    Audiophile grade phono pre-amplifier, extremely clean sound and as reliable and well-constructed as they get! High versatility and ease of use: the MM 008 phono preamplifier can be adjusted to match the tonal characteristics of your pick-up cartridge, ranging from an MM setting to three different […]
  • Technics SLDD2 Turntable
    Technics direct drive quality at an affordable price! The great thing about Technics is they made quality affordable tables that were never “cheap”. This semi-auto SL-DD2 is one of the easiest turntables to operate. Simply move the tone arm over to start the record! This turntable has been […]
  • Technics SLD20 Turntable
    The semi-auto SL-D20 was the most popular of the p-mount turntables. They are ultra-reliable and feature a high-quality direct drive motor. This table has been thoroughly tested and is operating at 100%! Has been fitted with a like new audio technical stylus, Plug and play!       […]
  • Onkyo TX SR 876 Receiver
    Modern AV receiver with plenty of inputs and outputs and turntable READY with on-board phono pre-amplifier! Robust power for surround or otherwise at 140 watts PER CHANNEL! 140 watts x 7 into 8 ohms (20-20,000 Hz) at 0.05% THD. THX® Ultra2 Plus certification new THX listening modes for optimized […]
  • Haffler XL 280 Power Amplifier
    Legendary dedicated power amplifier, pure audiophile grade sound (No gain or tone control needed!), and near non-existent self noise! This is one of the very best amplifiers that Hafler made. It offers 145 watts per channel into 8 ohms, and is stable down to 1 ohm, offering 325 watts for short […]
  • Audio Research LS1 Line Stage Amplifier
    No tone adjustment needed, pure sound for the sound purist! The Audio Research LS1 Line Stage Amplifier is designed to accommodate music lovers who exclusively use line-level input sources — digital or analog — for the reproduction and enjoyment of music in their home audio systems. In technology, […]
    The BDP-S580 has built-in Wi-Fi and the best current lineup of streaming-media services, including Netflix, Amazon Instant, Hulu Plus, Vudu, Slacker, and CinemaNow! […]
    The Technics SL-D30 is a fantastic direct drive turntable featuring the same sound specifications as the SL-D3 model (Which is usually considerably higher in price) […]
    This unit has been completely refurbished including lubrication and calibration! Includes vintage Audio Technica cartridge with OEM stylus! […]
    The Technics SL-D3 is the FULLY AUTOMATIC version of the SL-D2 which is regarded as the workhorse of the Technics family. […]
    The Technics SL-D2 has been considered the workhorse of the Technics line of turntables for decades. […]
    The Technics SL-D1 turntable is a FULL MANUAL version of the legendary SL-D2, this model has been regarded as a “tank” and “indestructible” among hi-fi enthusiasts for decades. […]
    The Sansui S2000 speakers have been highly regarded in the hi-fi community for decades and for good reason! […]
    Very nice Blu-Ray player, with remote! Enjoy 3D Blu-ray Disc movies in Full HD 1080p--also supports standard Blu-ray Disc movies in HD and upscales DVDs to near HD quality. […]
  • RCA 45-EY-2 45rpm TURNTABLE
    The RCA 45-EY-2 is an AC operated 3 tube automatic phonograph with mono amplifier and speaker.  The turntable is a 45 RPM, model RP-190-1, which holds up to twelve 7 inch fine groove records. Uses crystal pickup with medium output voltage. Also uses Qty(1) PM Elliptical 4″ x 6″ speaker. […]
    The BX-300 incorporates a wealth of original Nakamichi technology such as the Discrete Three Head system, a Direct Drive Asymmetrical, Diffused Resonance Dual Capstan Transport etc. […]
    This NAD 7020E is an absolutely rock solid receiver, 2x20watts and AM/FM receiver is perfect for bookshelf and medium sized speakers. To those familiar with the NAD 3020E Stereo Amp, this unit employs much of the same technology!       […]