Josiah Wise, AKA serpentwithfeet, forged his creative identity in the fires of deliberate introspection and holistic growth, emerging triumphantly with DEACON, a grounded, neo-R&B album uniting his vocal training, gospel upbringing, and newfound warmth. Previous albums have traversed the melancholy and yearning he has known, and with DEACON, we are baptized into an era of unapologetic Black queer contentment. “Hyacinth” displays Wise’s vocal range, embracing melodies and piano accompaniments that are diaphanous, vulnerable, and self-possessed. The radiance of this album resists fleeting happiness, instead summoning the quiet magic of lovers at dawn in “Derrick’s Beard” and cherishing the endearing flaws of our partners and ourselves in “Malik.”
By Kelli Ebensberger
This article originally appeared in the Spring 2021 print edition of BUST Magazine. Subscribe today!
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