lost stars // thalma au

The sun had set, but it still wasn’t late. Alma was just killing time until she felt tired enough to go to sleep, puttering around her home. She cleaned a little and mended a little and made herself a cup of tea, which she drank until it went cold. The whole house felt cold unless you sat right in front of the fire. That’s where Alma was, sitting next to the flames with her hands curled around the nearly empty cup. Up until recently, Alma had been used to having her evenings, er, occupied, and now she was just bored and still a little pissed off. Apparently Nathan had packed his things and left the country, which gave Alma a little bit of childish satisfaction, but not enough to compensate for everything else.

She was trying so hard to be drowsy that Alma missed the knocking at her door. Quickly, it turned into loud pounding, and then she noticed it. Alma got up and stretched and placed her mug of tea on the table, reaching for the door and opening it, revealing Thalia. “Thalia?” Alma asked, surprised and excited. “Hi.”


On June 1st, King, the vocal trio from Minnesota began their month long residency at the Bootleg Theatre in Los Angeles. The opening act was a tall, charismatic, and talented young artist named Moses Sumney. Sumney’s music is a tender combination of singer-songwriter soul with a tough and sometimes daring series of vocal loops. Performing by himself, he was openly nervous and dealt with it with a bright sense of humor. However, as soon as the music started, his gift overcame any timidity making the delighted audience scream at the end of every song, each time louder. I approached him afterwards and we struck up a conversation. Later that evening I thought it might be nice for Mochilla to help showcase his talent. This video is what came of that thought. Just one take, no edits, no corrections, no after effects, just pure soul. Below Moses tells us a little about himself.

When and how did you get into music?
I started singing when I was 7, and I’m not really sure why. Nobody in my family is musical. I’ve always just had a natural affinity towards it, but I didn’t really start doing it publicly and consistently until i was 20 years old.

Where were you born and raised?
I was born in San Bernardino, California in 1990. After living there for 10 years, I moved to Ghana with my family. Then at 16 I moved to Riverside to complete high school and begin college.

Does your period in Ghana have an influence on your music?
It’s hard to tell. I think it’s impossible for any period in our lives to not affect the art we output. I write about my life experiences and realizations, many of which occurred during my teen years in Ghana. Aesthetically, it may be too early to tell how much my upbringing affected my musical style. I’ve started to dabble in West African melodies and rhythmic patterns, but that didn’t happen until years after I left Ghana and started actually paying attention to the music that was no longer ubiquitous in my life.

Do you have any formal training?
I do not. I am completely self-trained.

Who are your friends/co-workers in music??
Hard to say. I collaborate with many people on many different projects, I guess, but the bulk of what I do, I do alone.

Please tell us some of your influences… (not just music, if so…)
One of my earliest and main influences is India.Arie. Apart from being inspired by the folk-meets-soul genre she invoked, her lyrical content inspired me to want to create music that sparks consciousness and non-superficial levels of thinking. I’m also very influenced by Jeff Buckley, Ella Fitzgerald, Ray LaMontagne, and José Gonzalez.

Please tell us something about this song “Replaceable.’
It started with a melody. Sometimes I hear overlapping vocal melodies and harmonies in my head, and need a way to bring them to life. That’s why I started looping. So the most important part of that song, to me, is the moving melody. The lyrics kind of just came naturally. I tried to write a song that, instead of the typical "you’re-no-good” break-up song, gives perspective into the psychological trauma that causes us to treat people like they’re expendable, and how those are cyclical behaviors. (Listen to the 2nd verse.)

Please tell us some of you career highlights so far…
Well there aren’t too many so far! I won a few singing/performance contests when I attended UCLA but those matter very little to me now. The biggest highlight so far was definitely doing my first residency this June so early in my career, opening for the (amazing) band KING. Before that, it was the gig I did with Zee Avi. I think opening for Tony Allen at the Mayan Theatre will prove to be a highlight of sorts. Baby steps.

Moses is back with King at the Bootleg Theatre, this Friday August 2nd 2013. Doors at 8pm.
Dont think I’d want to miss it.
Thalma de Freitas

bow down // thalma goddess au

Ancient Greece, 674 BCE

Alma knelt by the river, a few strands of hair falling in her face as she did so. Gingerly, she brushed them back, trying not to touch her face. Mud caked on her hands and buried itself under her fingernails, but it could be worse, Alma reminded herself. Planting olive trees didn’t leave any stains. Her hands were red for weeks when she worked with pomegranates and beets. She looked like she’d been in a fight.

She pinched the skirts of her dress between two fingers, trying not to get mud on the white fabric, and tugged them up over her knees. Leaning forward, she slid her hands into the water, scrubbing the dried mud from her arms. Just as she was thinking how nice it was to be alone, a twig snapped behind her. Alma turned around, hands still dripping, looking for the person whose step she’d heard.

eight hours // lucas & alma & thalia

Originally, when Lucas said he would be flying into Canada, Alma thought he was kidding. Evidently, he was not. He’d called as soon as his jet (it was incredibly useful having a friend with a private jet) landed and said he’d be there soon. Alma barely had time to inform a slightly shocked Light of Lucas’ impending arrival and clean up a little. Though it was all a bit rushed, Alma was more than excited to see her friend. And all over a four-month baby bump.

the dog days are over // thalma

Summer was officially over, but the sun wasn’t quite finished. It was still warm outside, and Alma wasn’t wearing a jacket despite the slight winds. Her backyard was about an acre of loosely fenced land, and the ten dogs ran around like crazy. (The cat was holed up inside, scared to death.) She and Thalia were wading through the sea of dogs, throwing sticks and old tennis balls every once in awhile. “Light thinks the reason I made him get all these dogs is empty-nest syndrome,” she explained, gripping the back of Bastille’s collar and pushing him down after he jumped onto Thalia one too many times. “Which is ridiculous. I just wanted the dogs. Is that a crime?”