Photo: Braylen Dion

Josiah Wise, known professionally as Serpentwithfeet, will release his new album in March.

With DEACON, the Baltimore-raised, Los Angeles-based artist explores a world where “Black love is paramount,” we’re told. We can expect a study delving into Black, gay love and the tenderness present in the best companionships, romantic or otherwise. It follows Serpentwithfeet’s debut album, soil, released in 2018, and features Sampha, Lil Silva, and Nao.

The album came together after Serpentwithfeet relocated to Los Angeles, a city that provided a sense of tranquility, which he pushed to capture in his new music. While crafting it, he made the decision to exclude songs about heartbreak. “This was a bold act for R&B, a genre quite literally shaped by the harsh realities the blues provide,” Secretly Canadian, the label says.

Spending time with pop songwriters and observing how they traverse language also encouraged him to take more risks lyrically, resulting in more purity, we’re told.

Alongside the announcement, Serpentwithfeet has shared “Fellowship,” co-written with Sampha and Lil Silva, which champions the uplifting energy one gets from warm friendships. .

Serpentwithfeet follows in the tradition of R&B artists whose gifts were helmed in the Black church. Born to religious parents, he approached DEACON with a passion and reverence for gospel, and the album’s title takes its name from the Christian office, a figure who helps maintain order within the church. “I wanted to create something that felt calm and restrained,” Serpentwithfeet says. “This was my way of tapping into the energy many deacons possess.”


01. Hyacinth
02. Same Size Shoe
03. Malik
04. Amir
05. Dawn
06. Sailors’ Superstition
07. Heart Storm (Feat. NAO)
08. Wood Boy
09.Derrick’s Beard
10. Old & Fine
11. Fellowship

DEACON LP is out on March 26 on Secretly Canadian. Meanwhile, you can stream “Fellowship” below and pre-order the album here.

Art by Braylen Dion