Moses Sumney’s Aromanticism

A wonderfully talented friend of mine told me about Moses Sumney over tea a few days ago. I’m not sure what rock I’ve been under, but I’ve clearly been hibernating because I had no clue this creative human existed. So, I decided to go down a Moses Sumney hole starting with his debut album Aromanticism. To begin, I learned a new word—aromantic. An aromantic is someone who experiences little to no romantic attraction. In a New York Times article, Moses Sumney explains that he has never experienced romantic love and wanted to challenge a culture that values romantic love so highly: I was just bored with the love song, the idea of the love song as the archetype, and also the culture that suggests romantic love is the end-all and be-all of human existence. I wanted to question and challenge that on a personal level and on the social level — the personal is the social. I think I just felt

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Prince: Piano & a Microphone

I don’t usually like listening to posthumously released albums. If the artist didn’t want me to hear it, I don’t think I should hear it. It may be weird, but listening to “gems” from the vault have always felt like crossing some kind of line. What I do love, however, is hearing songs stripped down to the basics. Prince Piano & a Microphone 1983 sounds like Prince playing around. That’s what I love about it. It’s not perfect. It’s not clean. It’s an artist at work, an artist at play. Is it something I’ll listen to every day? Probably not. But I do wonder what benefits a songwriter could find in just listening to what working sounds like and reminding themselves what it feels like to just play. Here are a few of the songs that were previously released and are stripped down to just piano and vocals on this album: “17 days” I wanna call you every day Beg

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Happy Belated Birthday India.Arie

When I start following an artist, it’s usually because I think they write great lyrics. India.Arie is the epitome of that. She has this way of being inspirational without it being corny: I close my eyes and I think of all the things that I want to see ‘Cause I know, now that I’ve opened up my heart I know that Anything I want can be, so let it be, so let it be Strength, courage, and wisdom And it’s been inside of me all along Strength, courage, and wisdom Inside of me   ~From “Strength, Courage and Wisdom” The difference in living and feeling alive Is using your fear as fuel to fly ~From “Life is Good” Even as she inspires, she addresses hard times and those hard places that we can all relate to: Please understand that it’s not that I don’t care But right know these walls are closing in on me I love you more than

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Make Me Whole

These songs remind me of dorm days, MySpace and friends who encircled music and formed bonds with the melodies. They bring back memories of confusion, heartbreak, bright hope and epiphany. They recall a yearning for love, an attempt to learn love.

Your eyes are the windows to heaven,
Your smile could heal a million souls.
Your love completes my existence.
You’re the other half that makes me whole.
You’re the only other half that makes me whole.

~ Amel Larrieux, “Make Me Whole”

Now, they communicate what I can’t, remind me of what I’ve learned and what I now cherish.

We have both been broken
Bent into painful shapes
We almost let those old fears
Carry over and get in our way
But every struggle just makes
Our love get stronger than it was yesterday

~ Amel Larrieux, “No One Else”

India.Arie’s SongVersation Podcast

I’ve been listening to India.Arie’s new podcast, SongVersation. I started it soon after it came out and like most things I encounter, I waited for a little while to come back to it. The great part about that is I get to listen to all of the episodes back to back. It’s a very intriguing listen. Each episode focuses on one of her songs. For about 40 minutes or so, she tells stories about where she was—physically and emotionally—while writing a song; she talks about her songwriting partners; she even discusses some of her experiences as a black artist in the music industry. The most recent episode is about a song I have loved for years, “Ready for Love.” I am ready for love All of the joy and the pain And all the time that it takes Just to stay in your good grace “SongVersation: Ready for Love” is a perfect example of how broad the conversations can be.

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Working Poor

Sip fancy coffees; Step over body outside he door.
Him fancy condo; He she call PO PO, me sing too loud.

I keep on knockin’. I keep on knockin’, but I can’t get in.

~ Fantastic Negrito, “Working Poor”


American Pill

American pill will wreck and kill.

~ Fantastic Negrito, “Plastic Hamburgers”

I live in a world where everything is potentially harmful and the rules we are taught to follow may very well destroy us; where evolution and technological advancement has left us questioning little, trapped in our own ideas and safe from others; where the violence of yesteryear, once hidden under hope for change, has reared its ugly head holding tiki torches and marching through university streets; where one wrong move leads to death by a badged gunman; where mass gatherings incite anxiety of mass violence. I live in a world I don’t like. I live in a world I don’t understand.

Let’s break out these chains, let’s burn it down.

~ Fantastic Negrito, “Plastic Hamburgers”



And yes, I’m a mess but I’m blessed
To be stuck with you.
Sometimes it gets unhealthy
We can’t be by ourselves, we
We’ll always need each other.
Yes, I’m a mess but I’m blessed
To be stuck with you.
I just want you to know that
If I could, I swear I’d go back
Make everything all better.