Moses Sumney, a singer and songwriter residing in Los Angeles, was born on May 19, 1990. He would eagerly write songs as a child, but he would keep them hidden inside his mattress since he was so shy. At age 20, he left his parents’ home to enroll in UCLA’s creative writing program before finding the guts to begin playing music. He picked up a used guitar from a friend and taught himself how to play and play along. At UCLA, he developed as an artist swiftly and soon shared the stage with some of the school’s most renowned artists on a weekly basis.
Career & Projects
In 2014, Sumney made his debut, fusing art pop, indie rock, folk, and ambient R&B with lush soul balladry. Before releasing his varied 2017 debut, Aromanticism, he garnered praise from artists like Sufjan Stevens and David Byrne for his dense stylistic mashup and compelling performances. In his early twenties, the San Bernardino native started performing live and immediately developed a particular style, which he then enhanced in the studio with lavish multi-tracked vocal arrangements.
The dreamy ballad “Man on the Moon” from his debut EP, Mid-City Island, from 2014 was followed in 2016 by the more acoustic-focused singles “Seeds” and “Please.” Sumney started to land high-profile gigs as an opener for musicians like Solange, James Blake, and David Byrne as his name developed. His first full-length album, Aromanticism, a masterfully produced meditation on loneliness and lack of love, was released in September 2017.
The tune “Make Out in My Car” from his Aromanticism album was remixed by Sufjan Stevens and James Blake and recorded by Alex Isley on an EP that was released the following year. 2018 also saw the release of another EP, titled Black in Deep Red 2014. The performer made a comeback in May 2020 with his second album, Grae. Sumney’s sophomore effort, a lengthy, experimental double album, explored his multifaceted and nuanced sense of self. Live from Blackalachia, its follow-up release came in 2021.