Moses Sumney evades definition as an act of duty: technicolour videos and monochrome clothes; Art Rock and Black Classical; blowing into Fashion Week from a small town in North Carolina; seemingly infinite collaborators, but only one staggering voice. A young life spent betwixt Southern California and Accra, Ghana — not so much rootless as an epyphite, an air plant. The scale is cinematic but the moves are precise deeds of art and stewardship. Sumney’s new, generous album, græ, is an assertion that the undefinable still exists and dwelling in it is an act of resistance.
The songs on græ may be divergent, like the visceral, Smashing Pumpkins drama of Virile and the intoxicated, outro jazz of Gagarin. There’s the kinky, ambiguous bop of Cut Me countered with the sweeping, amphitheater-ready Bless Me. But there’s that voice, always unknowable and penetrating, threading these pieces together: a heavenly rasp, a whale call, Miles' horn, a soulful snarl. It all works to create a paradox, keeping art and artist somewhere between any one sure thing — but surely something that demands your attention affixed and your breath bated. All of this is græ.