Moses Sumney’s Lamentations EP was one of my favorite releases of last year. It was an intimate portrait of alienation, lending poetry to statements that could otherwise read like “it’s not you, it’s me” in contortionistic auto-tune on “Worth It,” and imbuing surprising meaning in the words “emptiness prevails” on “Lonely World.” On social media this year, Sumney’s been teasing an upcoming album release, and with his recent signing to Jagjaguar, and a new song and video out today, it seems like that may be imminent. Until we get the full LP, there’s the just-released “Doomed.” The track and accompanying imagery are, of course, quite haunting.
The video is directed by Allie Avital, who also did Sumney’s “Worth It” visuals, in which the musician cradles an eyeless, naked dancer. The “Doomed” video is similarly minimalist, and likewise reveals its metaphoric life gradually, by beginning with close-ups and slowly revealing the full breadth of its imagery. Here, we see Sumney floating in a tank of water across from a woman. They stare at each other through the glass, and eventually we behold a field of tanks, each containing a naked individual, in the vein of a more tranquil, albeit no less unsettling, Matrix. Meanwhile, Sumney croons, “Am I vital/If my heart is idle/Am I doomed?” over slow, moaning synths. His voice does most of the emotional work in the song — and that’s all it needs.
Watch the video:
Sumney also took announced a North American/European tour today (dates via Pitchfork):
06.30 New Orleans, LA — Essence Festival 07.07 Winchester, England — Blissfields Festival 07.08 London, England — Somerset House 07.23 Los Angeles, CA — FYF Fest 08.11 Brooklyn, NY — BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn! Festival 09.02 Dorset, UK — End of the Road Festival 09.22 San Diego, CA — Irenic 09.24 Los Angeles, CA — Hollywood Bowl 09.26 San Francisco, CA — Great American Music Hall 09.28 Seattle, WA — Crocodile 09.29 Portland, OR — Doug Fir Lounge 09.30 Vancouver, British Columbia — St. James Hall 10.03 Minneapolis, MN — Icehouse 10.04 Chicago, IL — Old Town School of Folk 10.05 Toronto, Ontario — Mod Club 10.09 Cambridge, MA — Sinclair 10.11 Brooklyn, NY — Music Hall of Williamsburg 10.12 Philadelphia, PA — First Unitarian Church 10.14 Asheville, NC — Mothlight 10.15 Atlanta, GA — Afropunk Festival 10.17 Houston, TX — White Oak Music Hall 10.18 Austin, TX — Parish 10.25 Los Angeles, CA — Fonda Theatre 10.30 Brighton, England — Komedia 10.31 London, England — Islington Town Hall 11.02 Paris, France — Pitchfork Music Festival 11.03 Bruges, Belgium — Cactus Club 11.05 Eindhoven, Netherlands — So What’s Next? 11.07 Cologne, Germany — Kulturkirche 11.08 Prague, Czech Republic — Meetfactory 11.09 Munich, Germany — Ampere 11.12 Berlin, Germany — Berghain Kantine 11.14 Copenhagen, Denmark — Lille Vega 11.16 Amsterdam, Netherlands — Vondelkerk 11.17 Luxembourg, LU — Sonic Visions Festival 11.18 Hamburg, Germany — Überjazz Festival: Kampnagel K2 11.20 Brussels, Belgium — Botanique – Rotunde