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serpentwithfeet - DEACON’S Grove EP Music Album Reviews

serpentwithfeet - DEACON’S Grove EP Music Album Reviews
The experimental R&B artist tempers the ecstatic joy of his latest album with a breezy companion EP, offering subtle updates on its plainspoken songs of love and friendship.

Serpentwithfeet sings with an exultant tenderness that could make wilted flowers bloom. He is so adept at using his silvery vibrato to convey the extremes of human emotion that the baseline when considering his music is elevated: Even when the subject matter is dark, the starting point is radiant beauty. On this year’s DEACON, he moved away from the anguished lyrics and baroque gospel and chamber-pop production that established his singular sound on releases like 2018’s soil. Instead, he spent these songs singing so earnestly about love that the results deliberately bordered on corny. The music was more accessible than ever, but his technical skill and commitment to celebrating Black queer love made the music feel uniquely his own. DEACON’S Grove, a new companion EP, features remakes of three songs from DEACON and two previously unreleased originals. Without offering much we haven’t heard from serpentwithfeet before, it is a quick, breezy project that leans into his newfound sense of ease.

Of the two new songs, “Shoot Ya Shoot” falls into that category of “beautiful because serpentwithfeet made it,” without leaving much of an impression beyond that. He yearns for a lover at the end of a long day, singing over synth bursts that sound like glitter was poured straight into the mix. It’s pleasant but ultimately leaves you searching for deeper emotion or more specific storytelling. “Down Nuh River” is more interesting. Serpentwithfeet has said he was trying to channel the songs that “me, my friends and cousins made up as kids... on the playground and the porch.” There is a childlike wonder to the lyrics: He teases someone to “tell your brother that I kissed ya” and urges a friend to swim to the deepest part of the river because “that’s where all the wishes are.” Propelled by an eerie mesh of piano and synth and chanted vocals that echo and twist like children playing hopscotch, it’s the most exploratory song here.

The version of “Amir” that appeared on DEACON was bursting with nervous energy. Serpentwithfeet meets a man and is immediately eager to know the intimacies of his life: “What’s the longest you held a grudge?” “Do you like beer or like rosé?” The reprise on DEACON’S Grove is sung in hindsight, reminiscing on the moment they met. He doesn’t ask any questions. By now, he’s made up his mind: “You’re something sweet,” he sings, “so I’m all in.” The rush of meeting someone new has been replaced with quiet gratitude. On DEACON album closer “Fellowship,” he extended his devotion to his friends: He gushes about watching Christmas films in July and drinking Prosecco together. The version on DEACON’S Grove incorporates dreamy, delicately-sung verses by collaborators Ambré and Alex Isley. They sing about gratitude, warm smiles, and borrowing each other’s clothes. Ambré and Alex Isley’s voices break up serpentwithfeet’s verses nicely, turning this simple ode to friendship into a communal project.

Musicians who start out singing about their sadness often worry about losing their spark should they heal, and DEACON showed that there is power in sharing the specifics of your joy: how it feels to be fully understood, to name and pursue your desires, to access emotions that once felt foreign. DEACON’S Grove pulls back from that ecstasy without moving significantly into any new emotional territory. With a project like this, it’s hard not to compare him to his own high standard. When you know the intensity that serpentwithfeet is capable of conveying, the subtle joy of these songs inevitably feels slight.

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About Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera

Hey, I'm Perera! I will try to give you technology reviews(mobile,gadgets,smart watch & other technology things), Automobiles, News and entertainment for built up your knowledge.
serpentwithfeet - DEACON’S Grove EP Music Album Reviews serpentwithfeet - DEACON’S Grove EP Music Album Reviews Reviewed by Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera on Friday, November 26, 2021 Rating: 5

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