serpentwithfeet | Apparition (EP) | Secretly Canadian
Release Date: 29 April, 2020
One of the most notable elements of Josiah Wise’s work is the intrinsic sense of soul that lies within his compositions; since his breakthrough, the American artist – known under his moniker serpentwithfeet, has brought us releases that exude a sense of mesmerising passion and sensuality, pushing the boundaries of genre in a way that is beautifully vulnerable.
Wise’s velveteen vocals and his open exploration of the self; thoughtful introspections of sexuality and the roots of his identity; rich electronic soundscapes combined with melancholic, reflective R&B-esque love ballads allow for serpentwithfeet to experiment with a sound that not only takes us on an auditory journey but one filled with emotion, and with the release of his latest EP ‘Apparition’ (produced by grammy-nominated producer Wynne Bennett) the artist allows us into the often melancholic twilight world of romance.
The shiver of dramatic, graceful keys introduce us to ‘A Comma‘ as a the tender touch of a melody coated with with honeyed melancholia echoes within gradual atmospheric tide; gently embracing the rich ambience of a classical shore, sea-foam glistening with harmonious movement. Wise’s sensational, soulful vocals are radiant with emotion; immediately tugging the silken heartstrings, stirring and touchingly introspective.
“I pray for punctuation, Lord, be a comma
Or better karma
Or a sweeter situation
I’m dressing wounds I cannot see
Someone else’s beasts are riding me
I know this pain isn’t mine
Yet I feel it all the time“
The blend of deep, wistful sadness in Wise’s voice is striking – the range of the classically-trained vocalist allows him to reach levels of emotional depth; shimmering as precious, rare gems – the ethereal blend of melancholy dances intimately in companionship with a tone, still hopeful, for a better future.
“Life’s gotta get easier
Can’t carry a heavy heart into another year
Life’s gotta get easier
No heavy hearts in my next year“
The calm, balanced beat and composed percussive claps glimmer with those R&B love-song blues, the bittersweet seascape of textural electronics and melodious, minor keys feel like a teary loving embrace; a kind of, comforting heartache.
‘Psychic‘s haunting opening shivers with quiet whispers, the gradual pulse of the track’s beat slumbering within the lungs; crisp, strong fingers clutching the slow, steady heart as it awakens – lyrical, delicate keys flow smoothly through the veins, dulcet melodies in the intimacy of the intricately layered soundscape.
“My debonair soothsayer
You read me with such flair
Shame on those who dread prophecy
They must not know how hot it can be
He sees my future and he sees me
Maybe we’re meant to be
I think I fell in love with my psychic”
Wise’s vocals are scintillating in their angelic harmonies, a compassionate, nostalgic warmth inhabiting his words; the melancholia within his composition cradles ‘Psychic‘ similarly to the rest of the EP, yet presents a recognisable uplift – the aura glittering with a deeply affectionate longing.
“My sweet, sweet mystic
Are your lips too deep for kissing?
Heard the moon’s acting brand new
Does this mean I belong with you?“
Rating: 7.5 / 10
Feature Image: serpentwithfeet by Kadeem Johnson