Stereogum’s 90 Favorite Songs Of 2018

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Each December, in an effort to celebrate outstanding achievements and commemorate The Year That Was, the pop culture media industrial complex foists lots of lists upon the world. We here at Stereogum are party to that deluge; we shared our collective conclusions about 2018’s best albums a week ago and have been More »

Watch Sampha Perform With Kamasi Washington, Robert Glasper, serpentwithfeet, & Kelsey Lu On Corden

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If you’re gonna be on a late-night show, why not bring your cool friends along with you? That’s basically what Sampha did for his appearance on The Late Late Show With James Corden yesterday. He was there to perform “Treasure,” his song on the soundtrack for the Oscar-baity movie Beautiful Boy, and he … More »

serpentwithfeet Shares Acoustic Versions Of soil Tracks “bless ur heart” & “messy”

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serpentwithfeetEarlier this year, Josiah Wise released his first full-length album as serpentwithfeet, soil. It’s a magnificent album that gets just as much power from its intricate, theatrical arrangements as it does from Wise’s massive voice. But these songs work on a lot of different levels, and Wise has chosen to redo a couple … More »

Music Review: serpentwithfeet – soil

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serpentwithfeet

soil

[Secretly Canadian/Tri Angle; 2018]

Rating: 5/5

In fifth grade, when I asked my tragically optimistic Catholic school teacher if I could share with our class a story I had written — a conveniently Tolkienesque epic about a unicorn with a magical teleporting necklace — could anybody hear me whisper? There was certainly a lot of muffled snickering and subsequent side-glances when I later chose a set of realistically drawn unicorn stickers as a prize for academic achievement. Of course, Catholic grade school social politics is not reverent. When my class’s porcelain statue of Mary ended up in my half-locker one morning, it was a false idol; there’s nothing hallowed about Catholic school hallways.

Not like Wednesday Morning Mass though; Wednesdays were truly holy. Each Reconciliation Day, I became more and more convinced that Jesus was real-ly present in that Tabernacle, striking fear into bullies, that same fear of not knowing that guided all of their invalidating scoffs and eye rolls. Even if every squirmy body who waited in those serpentine sidelines — sweating in their stiff khakis and fabric store jumpers so that they could eventually exchange fabricated guilt for a prayer or two — went home every night and prayed me away, at least there was peace in that sanctuary.

And music. Truly heavenly music. When our choir director sang solo during Communion, it didn’t matter who she was singing for, even though, if taken literally, or liturgically, it should have been every one:

Gentile or Jew
Servant or free
Woman or man
No more

Even though we have never met, I can sense serpentwithfeet genuflecting in that pew beside me. And even though I couldn’t or didn’t always feel it then, I can feel it now, rippling through each row like waves of Frankincense: love from that space beneath my feet, and beneath that, and beneath that. This is what reconciliation sounds like:

Not all adults are making love,
breaking their backs out of fear
I’m here with you

Not every body in that sanctuary would grow sidewise, bent by dread. I hope that every body in that sanctuary felt love too, radiating from my collarbone for everything I loved about myself, for everything God loved about me. I still wonder: when I whispered “Our Father, Who Art In Heaven,” who among them — entrenched in Calvin and Hobbes books after wracking their brains for venial sins — could hear me? Who could I hear asking for forgiveness for choosing life over darkness? When serpent “quivers” with an entire choir’s vibrato, I can feel devotion radiate my eardrums and it snaps me back into that pew, into that state of awe I have only ever felt on Wednesdays. Despite its associations with inequity, despite how many times I have heard and have been confounded by a Father’s hypocrisy: “wash away my iniquity,” I mourned my mother selling our church pew. It felt like selling God, like gambling in a temple; it was my first inkling of capitalism’s Satanic charm. There’s a trunk that keeps my first handwritten novels:

When I give these books away, will my ink betray me?
Will my stories resist wings and grow feet and convince men that I’m boasting?
Or will my psalms seek the company of lonely breaths?
Will they inspire subtle lovers to kiss with mouths they don’t have yet?
Boy, whoever reads about how much I adore you
I hope my words bring them something new, something new

soil is a crucial psalm; crucial for its queerness, crucial for its catholicism, its pagan roots protruding into sidewalks, crucial for its purity of heart, crucial for how it avoids imperative, softly chiming:

I know you feel too old, but if you whisper, only I can hear you.

I hear you.
There’s a space for you right here in this home.

Brockhampton Debut New Song “Tonya” And New Album Title On Fallon

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Brockhampton-on-The-Tonight-ShowIt’s been a turbulent few months for Brockhampton, the genre-blurring, free-ranging LA-based rap “boy band.” First, they signed with RCA and announced that a new album called Puppy would be coming out in June. Then group member Ameer Vann was accused of hurting women during sex. Brockhampton kicked Ameer Vann outMore »

serpentwithfeet tiptoes out on North American tour, adds his serpent-footprints to even more places

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Numerous anthropomorphic tour dates were announced back when Josiah “serpentwithfeet” Wise’s debut album soil was explicitly foreshadowed, but now that soil’s been released and is unloading all sorts of magnificence on the general public, it’s only natural that the chronic resident of the Northeast megalopolis would try to supplement those eccentric love songs with some additional affection via performance.

I have no idea what to specifically expect concert-wise from a man who colors his beard, has “HEAVEN” tattooed on his forehead, and who has penchant for singing emotionally using lyrics that vaguely recall his explicitly religious upbringing…but listening to his records, it’s hard not to get caught up in Wise’s progressive attempts at personal purification. Hey, we’ve all been there!

The bulk of the added dates are in Europe, though serpentwithfeet is also now scheduled to perform at Fuji Rock in Tokyo, Treasure Island Music Festival in Oakland, and at a show in his hometown of Baltimore. Check out the complete list down below, listen to the track “Seedless,” and of course, continue to robotically refresh the TMT homepage (even when you’re eating), so that you can be the first to read our review of soil when it arrives. Heck, you even need feet to do that!

All dates:

06.19.18 – San Francisco, CA – Swedish American Hall *
06.21.18 – Portland, OR – Holocene *
06.22.18 – Seattle, WA – Barboza *
06.23.18 – Vancouver, BC – The Biltmore Cabaret *
06.25.18 – Washington, DC – DC9 #
06.26.18 – Philadelphia, PA – Johnny Brenda’s #
06.27.18 – Boston, MA – Great Scott #
06.29.18 – Toronto, ON – The Drake #
07.01.18 – Chicago, IL – Empty Bottle #
07.06-07.18 – Eau Claire, WI – Eaux Claires
07.17.18 – Los Angeles, CA – The Echo
07.29.18 – Tokyo, JP – Fuji Rock
08.08.18 – London, UK – Royal Albert Hall
08.10.18 – Copenhagen, Denmark – Haven
10.09.18 – Brooklyn, NY – Elsewhere
10.10.18 – Baltimore, MD – Ottobar
10.11.18 – Raleigh, NC – Kings
10.13-14.18 – Oakland, CA – Treasure Island Music Festival
10.14.18 – Atlanta, GA – Afropunk Festival
10.26.18 – Madrid, Spain – Primavera Club
10.27.18 – Barcelona, ES – Primavera Club
10.29.18 – Paris, France – Badaboum
10.30.18 – London, UK – Islington Assembly
11.01.18 – Duedingen, Switzerland – Bad Bonn
11.02.18 – Zurich, Switzerland – Exit
11.03.18 – Milan, Italy – Club to Club
11.06.18 – Cologne, Germany – Gebaude 9
11.07.18 – Berlin, Germany – Lido
11.09.18 – Utrecht, Netherlands – Le Guess Who

* Katie Gately
# Lee Mo

Watch serpentwithfeet’s Take Away Show

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Last week, Josiah Wise released his debut serpentwithfeet album, soil. It’s a gorgeous and fantastical blend of gospel, R&B, and experimental music. Wise is also a virtuoso performer who knows exactly how to make every song he writes sound incredibly unique live, and that’s exactly what he did for his entry in La … More »

serpentwithfeet – “seedless”

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serpentwithfeetThere are many, many great albums coming out later this week, and one of those albums is soil, the full-length debut from serpentwithfeet. The Baltimore-born R&B experimenter serpentwithfeet started out singing gospel music in church, and his music is almost a secular version of gospel — devotional music about the transcendence that can come from … More »

Watch: serpentwithfeet – “cherubim”

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One of the cherubim reached out his hand to the fire that was among them. He took up some of it and put it into the hands of the man in linen, who took it and went out.
Ezekiel 10:7

Intimacy — where is it found? Or, where do you find it? Can you think of that place? Of that person?

Hold that image. Feel it. Let it absorb you. Maybe you’re even there now. Physically, I mean. Maybe not. Maybe it’s a far off place, maybe it’s close. Maybe it is — or was — fleeting. Or maybe it’s something that will stick around a while. But certainly not eternal. Intimacy is not eternal. Eternity defeats intimacy. Without ephemerality, attachment has no purpose.

Wherever you are, I want you to take yourself there, to that Other place; enter into your skin, feel the intimacy. Take it in. Covet it — but not too much. Covetousness is sinful, after all. But we are borne from sin. So indulge. Just a little.

Take that flame, hold it, carry it. Sing. Sing like the cherubim.

Watch serpentwithfeet give himself to Love in the video for “cherubim” above. It’s a new single from his debut album soil, which drops June 8 via Secretly Canadian/Tri Angle Records. Pre-order here.

Watch: serpentwithfeet – “cherubim”

This post was originally published on this site

One of the cherubim reached out his hand to the fire that was among them. He took up some of it and put it into the hands of the man in linen, who took it and went out.
Ezekiel 10:7

Intimacy — where is it found? Or, where do you find it? Can you think of that place? Of that person?

Hold that image. Feel it. Let it absorb you. Maybe you’re even there now. Physically, I mean. Maybe not. Maybe it’s a far off place, maybe it’s close. Maybe it is — or was — fleeting. Or maybe it’s something that will stick around a while. But certainly not eternal. Intimacy is not eternal. Eternity defeats intimacy. Without ephemerality, attachment has no purpose.

Wherever you are, I want you to take yourself there, to that Other place; enter into your skin, feel the intimacy. Take it in. Covet it — but not too much. Covetousness is sinful, after all. But we are borne from sin. So indulge. Just a little.

Take that flame, hold it, carry it. Sing. Sing like the cherubim.

Watch serpentwithfeet give himself to Love in the video for “cherubim” above. It’s a new single from his debut album soil, which drops June 8 via Secretly Canadian/Tri Angle Records. Pre-order here.