Moses Sumney – “grae part 1” Album Review

Story posted February 26, 2020 in Arts & Entertainment by Anan Hussein.

Moses Sumney released his second album, “grae part 1” this Friday in what will be a two-part album. Sumney, 28, released his first EP, “Mid-City Island” in 2014 and his first album, “Aromanticism” in 2017. His first album featured elements of loneliness and love which are lightly touched upon in this album. However, this album seems to be far more about empowerment.

You may not find his songs on the radio due to the unique tribal-like, electronic and minimal components throughout this album. The album is jazz heavy and features a lot of pauses consisting of just melody. He starts off with a 40 second clip titled, “insula” that repeats, “isolation comes from "insula" which means island.”

The album is constructed in such a way that makes you feel as if you’re taking a voyage through a different dimension. A trumpet-like melody accompanies almost every track. One of the tracks, “In Bloom” sounds like it belongs in a musical, and is one of the first tracks that shows off Sumney’s vocals. This song has a good vibe and sets the tone for the album.

In “Virile”, which was released as a single in 2019, the tempo is much faster. This is an empowering song where Sumney challenges masculinity in today’s society. One of the lyrics, “amp up the masculine, you've got the wrong idea, son,” summarizes the overall theme of the song quite well. Sumney directed and choreographed the music video for this song.

His track “Conveyor” is lyrically minimalistic but has a catchy beat. Sumney also shows off an interesting falsetto that’s not heard much throughout the album. This song sounds like one that would work really well in a movie scene or series.

The same jazz elements persist in “gagarin” which is the album’s longest track, but it’s accompanied by alien-like sounds you would find in a science fiction movie. The cool thing about this track is that the lyrics are also of an extraterrestrial nature. Sumney questions his existence with lyrics like, “the galaxy's a broken mirror, slowly the asteroid gets nearer.”

Sumney revisits the topic of masculinity in “jack/ jill” which is simply two voice parts repeating the same verse over and over again accompanied by soft drums. This is probably one of the least exciting tracks on the album but adds into the story overall.

To end this part of the album, Sumeny concludes with “Polly” where he seems to be struggling with his feelings towards someone who’s not available for him. He repeats the chorus, “are you dancin' with me? or just merely dancin'?”

Overall, the album is unique and is a great listen if you’re looking for something new. However, for the second part of the album, it would be nice to hear more of Sumney’s vocals and what he has to say. Sumney is a good lyricist and the album would benefit greatly if he sang his words more often throughout the album.

Rating: 6/10

Reviewer’s Favorite Track: “Conveyor”

Reviewer’s Least Favorite Track: “jack/jill”


Anan Hussein is a sophomore majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact her, email