By Hunter Bych, Contributor
Key Tracks: “Lonely World”, “Plastic”
While Moses Sumney has been making music since 2014 with EPs like Mid-City Island and Seeds/Pleads, his official debut record, Aromanticism, is his proper first step. It’s a concept album about lovelessness in a dreamlike landscape, in which Moses describes as an album that will “leave you enlightened yet empty,” with mentions of tracks like “Doomed” and “Lonely World” to fit the thesis of the album’s motifs.
One thing is for certain, he is not fucking around when it comes to mood. This album is as bleak as an abandoned town. Yet, it has this sense of wonder and beauty to it, as if looking at the ruins of an abandoned city. It feels depressing, yet carries so much feeling. This gets a special mention in the album’s B-side, where the instrumentation can leave a choking atmosphere, allowing you to move when it moves. The transitioning songs, such as “Stoicism” into “Lonely World”, provide so much that listening to them as singles can take away the mood. It’s not to say “Lonely World” can’t stand up by itself, but a significant portion of that feeling gets taken away. Moses’ voice is stunning to hear throughout every track, with a special mention to “Doomed” and “Plastic”.
The length of the album, clocking in at 34 minutes with around 30-31 minutes, (not counting segues pieces) can make this work seem skimpy. Some songs in the album are repeated from previous EPs, with some additional instrumentals. This is not a problem for anyone who is going in blind to his previous work. Comparing to older works, songs like “Plastic” do not necessarily need such excess angelic backing. The song sounds phenomenal on its own and improvements are nice, but add too many and it may bog down a track too much.
Overall, Moses Sumney has made a strong impression for a debut album and it is worth a listen for anyone curious. There are some points where it can just straight asphyxiate you when it does not need to, but what he’s created shows strong promise and should be looked out for in the future.