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Moses Sumney: Tiny Desk Concert

Nov 29, 2017
Originally published on November 29, 2017 5:00 am

Moses Sumney puts a great deal of thought into the heartfelt music he creates. On his debut album, Aromanticism, he was inspired by everything from the works of Plato and Aristophanes' account of the origin of humanity to the Bible, particularly Genesis and the story of creation. It's all in an attempt to understand human relationships and the sorts of couplings we tend to be drawn to. But despite the working and reworking it took to put these ideas to song, and to then make his brilliant debut, there's a spontaneous side that you'll see in this Tiny Desk Concert.

The concert opens up with Moses not behind my desk, but at the piano we keep in our office. As his team of sax, harp and guitar players set up, Moses sat at the piano and began to play "Doomed." He had instructed the band, which had already perched behind my desk 40 or so feet away, to create a transition for him to walk from piano to desk, continuing one of the most inspired 8-minute stretches I've witnessed here at the Tiny Desk. And there was more to come.

If you don't know this Los-Angeles-based force of nature, and haven't heard him on tour with James Blake or Sufjan Stevens or perhaps on albums by Beck or Solange, then this is your chance to watch one of the most thoughtful talents of today as he makes music that is outside the box but easy to relate and connect to.

Set List

  • "Doomed"

  • "Quarrel"

  • "Plastic"

Musicians

Moses Sumney (vocals/guitar/keys/loops), Sam Gendel (sax/guitar), Mike Haldeman (guitar), Brandee Younger (harp)

Credits

Producers: Bob Boilen, Morgan Noelle Smith; Creative Director: Bob Boilen; Audio Engineers: Josh Rogosin, Josephine Nyounai, Karla Barrera; Videographers: Morgan Noelle Smith, Alyse Young, CJ Riculan; Production Assistants: Salvatore Maicki, Stephen Thompson; Photo: Jennifer Kerrigan/NPR

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