SerpentwithfeetSecretly Canadian/Tri Angle
Released: 8th June 2018
Serpentwithfeet is an experimental R&B / gospel vocalist and performance artist whose growing body of work is rooted in dueling obsessions with the ephemeral and the everlasting – key components of his artistic journey from a childhood stint as a choirboy in Baltimore through his time at The University of the Arts in Philadelphia, where he studied vocal performance before relocating to New York City. "Soil" is a return to the sensibilities and wide-eyed curiosity of his musical youth before symmetry and sterile soundscapes ruled the roost. With the release of "Soil" the chameleonic Serpentwithfeet (born Josiah Wise) rediscovers and ultimately returns to the unhinged version of himself he was sure he had outgrown.
On "Soil", Serpentwithfeet trades glossolalia and peacocking showmanship for intricately layered harmonies, a sumptuous bottom register that appears for the first time to challenge his fluttering tenor, and ballsy sonic experimentation encouraged by Gately, whose talent he describes as 'making voices sound like elephants and elephants sound like car engines.' Together they develop an unctuous sound that suggests billowing clouds and the dense, plodding stomp of 12-bar blues. Once concerned with perfect execution of gospel runs and dishing up a gossamer falsetto, Serpentwithfeet is out of balance and reveling in the concept of mess on "Soil". Particularly, what it means to part ways with sterility and the urge to uncoil himself in order to occupy more space. "Soil" is the moment at which he unfolds himself with zero intention of closing back up.