Josiah Wise has been getting major acclaim for his new album DEACON. The artist, better known under the moniker serpentwithfeet, is now riding high as the hot name to drop in indie circles and online magazines. If you want to know what all the hype is about, a good place to start is with the video for the third single off of DEACON with ‘Heart Storm.’
The song, in which Wise collaborates with soul singer Nao, is a great entry point for DEACON. Spacey synths, breathy vocals, and plenty of sparseness in the arrangement to let the different elements float around each other. Nao’s voice works in perfect tandem with Wise’s, melding together to create beautifully airy harmonies which buoy the track.
The mutant blend of gospel, techno, and baroque pop in Wise’s work is fairly hard to pin down, genre-wise. Is it R&B? Future pop? Electronica? The pretentious tags tend to fall away once you start listening to the album. It’s one of those works that act as a rabbit hole you fall into and get lost in. A half an hour later, you come to and look around wondering where you’ve been and what just happened. That means Wise isn’t really in the music business: he’s in the transportation business.
The entire album works that way, and it’s a really fantastic leap forward for Wise. His first record, 2018’s soil, played in the same sandbox of cool and calming pop, but it really seems like Wise is starting to find the unique aspects of his style and weaponise them. Here’s hoping his future releases are this engrossing.
Check out the video for ‘Heart Storm’ down below. DEACON is out and available now. Check out the track listing.
2. Same Size Shoe
6. Sailors’ Superstition
7. Heart Storm (Feat. NAO)
8. Wood Boy
9. Derrick’s Beard
10. Old & Fine