Single Review: Moses Sumney – 'Doomed'

Monday, July 3, 2017

Ethereal, unique and downright beautiful — these are the words that come to mind when you listen to Moses Sumney’s new song 'Doomed'.  With carefully calculated lyrics and brilliant musical production, this track is a clear indication that the California and Ghana raised artist is on the verge of musical greatness.  

Sumney’s voice carries the same eerie and emotional weight as the legendary Nina Simone. In 'Doomed' his voice effortlessly travels from low notes to high falsettos, singing poignant lyrics like “If lovelessness is godlessness, will you cast me to the wayside?” and that soaring chorus “If my heart is idle, Am I doomed?” 

Accompanying Sumney’s vocals are a handful of futuristic sound waves that transport the song to a supersonic and otherworldly place. 'Doomed' could easily fit into the soundtrack of films like Interstellar or Gravity because it gives off a sense of wonderment and loneliness in such a vast and open environment like outer space.  

The music video for 'Doomed' is arresting, yet very fitting to the song. Directed by Allie Avital (collaborations include Chairlift, Ray Ban, and The Knocks), the video shows Sumney fully submerged in a small tank as the camera carefully pans across different parts of his body. Towards the end of the video, the camera zooms out in a bird’s eye view, revealing dozens of tanks also filled with humans in a scary and visually stunning twist. 

Though slow paced, listening to 'Doomed' is like a refreshing and rare exhale from today’s fast-paced musical climate. Each lyric sung and each note hit is given careful thought and meaning. This patience is also reflected in Sumney’s emergence into the music scene. Since 2014, Sumney has slowly but surely charmed audiences, performing alongside the likes of Karen O, Solange, James Blake and more.  He’s also appeared on the Australian stage this year, with performances at Sydney Festival and MONA FOMA. 

After singing with Jagjaguwar (Bon Iver, Moonface), Sumney is ready to follow up his 2016 Lamentations EP with a full-length debut album filled with intimate, elaborate and beautiful music. All we can do is wait patiently as Moses Sumney brings the future of music to the present.   

Written by Sallie Rodriguez