A 5 minute review of Moses Sumney, typed in the notes of my iPhone
15 Jun 2016
Moments after supporting act, Denai Moore stilled our souls with her heart-melting folk, we tuned back into the room and began to suss our surroundings.
“Is that…?” Vanessa spotted Ezra Miller. But who is he again? *Googles* We discussed how amazing it is that celebrities are just like us. He was probably just there enjoying the music.
We got onto the subject of our faves – friends of Moses – and began to get animated. We discussed Creed actor Tessa Mae Thompson and that Boomerang she posted on Instagram of her and her #blackgirlcrew on holiday looking bomb. Our voices rose as we contemplated Solange’s whole existence. Remember the week of joy we squeezed out of her wedding because it was just so perfect, floaty and free like the Queen herself?
Moments later, Tessa pushed past me. I didn’t recognise her, but the same friend pointed her out. At this point I started waxing lyrical, clapping and snapping about speaking things into existence. Did she hear me? Moses took to the stage.
He started slow. With the whole show derailed by a broken 4-track cassette with his years old demos (he plugged it in without a transformer and it blew the fuse) it was just him, his guitar and three incredibly important microphones. Known for pausing until the crowd quiets itself, he soaked up the silence and with it spun an intricate web of inconceivable falsettos and impossible lows with pure ease.
Someone pushed down the stairs. It was just a girl looking for her friends. Cool. But then some girls beside me start whispering too loud for it to be cute. Oh my gosh. Could it actually be? Tears, tears, all the tears. Solange is in the room! Bursting with fear, elation and confusion at the speed at which my words had come to fruition I squeezed my sister’s arm and thanked God. Solange’s skin was luminous like the first, soft rays of light.
Meanwhile Moses was running through favourites ‘Seeds’ and ‘Man on the Moon’, and eventually encouraged us to sing with him. And in the dimly lit first floor room of The Lexington, a whispered rendition of ‘Plastic’ was fuelled by our sweet but comparatively inadequate harmonies.
That’s when he began building galaxies with feathery lightness, Ghana-tinged rhythms and loop pedal mastery. He was, quite simply, mesmerising.
‘Lonely World’ weaved saturated layers to depths our brains stopped comprehending. Despite his loop pedal giving up and playing half-speed during ‘Everlasting Sigh’, Solange told him to take it there and he did exactly that.
He rolled with it oh so smooth, then brought it back. Belting out a solid 3 minutes of searing vocals – runs, scatting, the most beautiful shrieking I’d ever heard – he had the audacity to bring back the chorus in a display so unlike what we’re used to that we screamed and cheered from exhaustion and bewilderment. How could such a perfect creature exist?
Meanwhile Tessa was getting her life, dancing to every second. I was focused on Moses, but out of the corner of my eye I watched her getting down and wondered why British crowds are so reserved in comparison, and also could I find the cut out waterfall sleeved shirt she wore on ASOS?
Also, passing comments from Moses, whose comedic chops rival Adele’s, were hilarious. Seriously.
“WELP I’m a Christian so…” *girl screams something* *everyone laughs* “Oh I thought you were laughing because I said I’m a Christian.” NB: this one was definitely a you had to be there moment.
In one of the many bouts of hysterics, I looked over and can you believe my crazed state when I realised the short haired woman next to Solange was Kelela? By that point I had nothing left to give. I was dying and being revived. When he finally left the stage to a thunderous applause and cries of “YAAAAS” we found we could finally breathe. It was all too much.
I spent a lot of time trying to communicate what I experienced, failing to type anything useful; telling people my life was changed; screaming and shouting in exhausted excitement about how the night got more and more ridiculous and life-giving. And then I went on Twitter and told a timeline full of no one, because what the hell is the point unless you can brag about sharing the same oxygen as all of your faves?