Touring with James Blake on The Colour in Anything tour, Moses Sumney’s Lamentations started to get heard more than just the quiet and sparse performance at the 2016 Pitchfork Music Festival (I wasn’t there, but there’s footage). Sitting firmly in his falsetto, Sumney works with angelic harmonies and guitar akin to that of early Animal Collective-Panda Bear projects like Feels or Young Prayer. He even experiments a bit with the vocoder effect made famous by artists like Imogen Heap and Bon Iver. It’s a sweet and ethereal project lasting only nineteen minutes in total, and shows some promise for really interesting releases or collaborations with other artists to come in the future.
Katherine St. Asaph wrote for Spin that “If alt-R&B disappears ever, it’ll be via suffocation under a heap of its own baggage… the worst of the genre has two modes: shallow or performatively sexualized.”
Care, How to Dress Well’s fourth record now, has received some decent critical appeal, but I don’t hear the “Lush arrangements” of which the record garners its most universal praise. For me personally, I can barely get passed how awkward and timid his voice sounds let alone accept some sort of rich instrumentation to this. It sounds less arranged like the Blood Orange record in my opinion, and the lyrical material could possibly be something to desired if it didn’t sound like he was singing way out of his vocal range. I mean, he doesn’t even live up to the name.