Moses Sumney’s ‘Doomed’ lament will leave you shaken

Where to begin with MOSES SUMNEY’s new track ‘Doomed’, the vocals, the production; the video or the lyrics? Regardless, you’ll be clutching at your imaginary pearls beholden by the profound effect of Moses. Placing somewhere in between James Blake and Anohni, it’s a gripping and waning ode to love’s isolation. Moses’ impossibly rich voice cascades a range unthinkable by many artists to turn ‘Doomed’ into must listen track. It’s a track truly best listened to loud and alone so that it can wash over you, heartbreak and all.

The music video is simple: Moses is floating in a tank, lit by blue lights, sinking in and out of the dark water around him. If by listening to the track, you hadn’t caught onto the feelings of isolation, inside the isolation tank – you really feel it. The visuals are perfect for the track. As a whole it isn’t busy, the production only serves to frame the vocals, organ-like synths, droning and vocal echoes are fanciful as it gets behind the wavering bass. The clip builds to Moses floating to the edge of his tank, greeted by a women similarly submerged, as the final shots pull out – there are many others, all suspended in their own tanks. Once again, it’s a simple but unbelievably effective descriptor of isolation in the world, especially as it does not place Moses’ feelings on pedestal but comes to final shot of everyone existing in similar isolation. It’s a beautiful image, all isolated together, the feeling furthered by the fact that he can see everyone in the world around him.

Lyrically, ‘Doomed’ is a goldmine. Moses’ voice turns every verse into something immediately striking but lyrics like ‘Am I vital, if my heart is idle?’ and ‘If lovelessness is Godlessness, will you leave me by the wayside’ truly make the song. Standalone, the lyrics would be a doom-worthy lament but with Moses’ voice, imagery and production – they become so much more.

While the track will be unlikely to strike mainstream listeners, mainly due to moment of silence it leaves you with – it’s a track to hold on to and also, to remind you that Moses Sumney is an artist with unbelievable talent and is not one to be slept on.

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WORDS BY LLOYD CRACKETT

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