Immensely talented neo-soul artist Moses Sumney has announced a forthcoming double-album titled græ, due out next spring on Jagjaguwar. The album, Sumney’s second after the acclaimed Aromanticism, will be released in two parts—one in February and one in March—and follows a conceptual narrative on the idea of grayness. The album’s first single, “Virile” is a triumphant return for Sumney, arriving along with a self-directed video that solidifies the strength of his multi-faceted approach to his art.
“Virile” is a term used to describe a male with a strong sexual attraction—something that Sumney has no problem conveying through his vocal and physical performances. The song opens with a strange wail from the singer before a gleefully plucked harp begins the movement. “Virile” is undoubtedly spiritual, with a focus on the connection between earth and the body: Sumney sings, “And I realize now / That none of this matters / ‘Cause I will return / The dust and matter.” The song displays opulent orchestration, with harp, flute, piano and vocal harmonies intermingling in a smooth, symbiotic bliss.
The stunning video for “Virile” emits a resounding energy that proves Sumney to be as much of a visual icon as he is a musical one. In the cold, depressing setting of a meat locker, Sumney contorts his shining bare body through a fantastic interpretive dance. Later he kneels before a religious candlelit shrine surrounded by hanging meat—a surreal sight, indeed. The last few seconds of the video show Sumney laying in a field completely covered in ladybugs while hyperventilating. The video is bizarre, cryptic and wonderfully shot.
In a statement, Sumney explains that his approach to his art maintains a crucial self-awareness that prevents him from being pulled in any single musical direction:
It all works to create a paradox, keeping art and artist somewhere between any one sure thing—but surely something that demands your attention affixed and your breath bated.
The first part of græ is due out in February, while the full album is dropping March 15 on Jagjaguwar and can be preordered here. You can watch the video for “Virile” below and find Sumney’s album details further down.
græ Album Art:
02. Cut Me
03. In Bloom
10. also also also and and and
13. Two Dogs
15. Me In 20 Years
16. Keeps Me Alive
17. Lucky Me
18. and so I come to isolation
19. Bless Me
20. before you go