Tuesday night, Moses Sumney’s falsetto graced The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. Performing “Cut Me” from his forthcoming double album græ, he channeled the raw loneliness, detachment and pleasure in a stellar live performance. Backed by a horn section, violinist and drummer, Sumney wanders to a piano during the song’s climactic third verse, tickling the keys as he moves from his deepest register to his most songbird-like high.
Dressed like a gothy Prince with platforms, high-waisted flares and matching gold accessories, Sumney towers above his backing band, elegant and staunchly in control of his voice. There’s a romance to the track—the piano’s adorned with white roses—but the track is mostly about Sumney himself, a reflection on his flaws, triumphs and euphoria that arises from self-destruction. As Sumney’s stated, the album is a “conceptual patchwork about grayness.” “Cut Me,” then, represents that state in-between, where the colors muddle and blend into one.
Sumney’s appearance on Colbert was his first U.S. late-night performance. græ will be released in two parts—the first part drops a little over a week from now on Feb. 21. If his Colbert appearance is any indication, Sumney has great plans for this era of his career, with a solid aesthetic and a powerful, binding gel that unites his empyrean neo-soul. You can check his performance out below.