Moses Sumney – “Rank & File”

Earlier this week we learned Moses Sumney would be following up last year’s excellent debut Aromanticism with a noisy new EP out next Friday. Supposedly it deals with questions of power dynamics and includes samples from a protest rally over the death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri.

Today we get to hear our first preview of that project, which is called Black In Deep Red, 2014, named for a 1957 Mark Rothko painting. Its closing track, “Rank & File,” takes Sumney somewhere entirely new (although not that new because he’s been performing it live for a while now). Over tension-building bass bombs and finger-snaps, Sumney sings in a jazzy cadence. He often returns to a militaristic “I don’t know, but I’ve been told” chant, eventually ratcheting it up into a wild, soulful falsetto right after he addresses police: “So protect and serve us, but murder is not service.” The music grows increasingly chaotic but never quite boils over. It’s intense.

Hear “Rank & File” below.

Sumney shared a statement of intent about the new EP, explaining that it was inspired by attending a protest for the first time and feeling like an anthropological observer rather than a participant:

01 “Power?”
02 “Call-To-Arms”
03 “Rank & File”

Black In Deep Red, 2014 is out 8/10 on Jagjaguwar.

Tags: Moses Sumney