Moses Sumney’s Wee Small Hours

I want ‘eventsdontmatter’ [ ed note: the previous title of this blog, see ‘About’ for later developments šŸ˜‰ ] to focus on dance music, which might make an article about Moses Sumney’s album seem confusing, as it’s pretty much impossible to dance to. Aromanticism‘s lush, personal, and mostly percussion-less sound is almost as far from the objective pulse of dance music as possible.

With that said, this soothing record makes for the perfect comedown lp, for reasons above and beyond its functional texture. Aromanticism focusses on Sumney’s definition of the non-dictionary word; ‘someone who doesn’t experience romantic love, or does so to a diminished, abnormal degree’. But it’s easy not to notice this meaning at first, to lose yourself bathing in this unique voice to such a depth that you don’t see the liquid’s structures. That’s not just me saying that, the quietus agrees with me; ‘on first listen the subject matterā€¦ completely evaded me as his vocals took centrestage’. It’s confusing to make sense of a such a graceful record through such an apparently bittersweet subject, one that could easily be conflated with the grungey umbrella-subject of loneliness.

I think the powerful message in this experience is that sometimes life can be at its most beautiful when experienced without romantic, culturally-sanctioned analysis, that human grace can be obvious when you don’t look for a person’s story, but just look at the person. My least favourite post-night out sentence, one I’m sure most dancers over the age of 20 are well-acquainted with, is ‘what am I doing with my life’. It can be easy to look at your hours in a club as a departure or set-back from the correct direction of life, towards health, love and wealth, and feel the pressure to sort yourself out. The type of health that this ignores is expressive health, the quality of intimate honesty that makes Aromanticism so beautiful.Ā Life can be beautiful and natural without being cocooned in cultural legitimacy.