Sonic Boon: Moses Sumney’s One-Man Movement

KCRW DJ Anne Litt on a local musician who’s caught her ear

Photograph by Emilio Guerra

Every now and then somebody comes along who blows me away. The first time I heard Moses Sumney, it was transformative. He reminds me of Jeff Buckley. His music has strains of folk, gospel, and soul, but he has such a light touch with his voice, which sweeps from graceful falsettos to imposing depths. On “Replaceable” he builds an entire song with just his voice, using a looping pedal to layer beats and melodies. Many artists based in L.A., like Julia Holter and Emily Wells, have made music this way. The drastic changes in the record business have leveled the playing field so you can be a one-man band. These artists may be making better records in their bedrooms than if they were in a studio at Capitol Records. Moses hasn’t put out an album yet, but this is the start of something big. 

 Moses Sumney performs a month-long residency in March on Monday nights at The Bootleg Theater.