Posted January 26, 2021 by Jeff in Tunes

Serpentwithfeet Shows Restraint on New Album

DEACON cover art by Braylen Dion
DEACON cover art by Braylen Dion

Baltimore-raised, Los Angeles-based singer-songwriter serpentwithfeet explores “a world wherein Black love is paramount” on his new album, Deacon, out March 26 on Secretly Canadian. 

“It’s a study rather than a story delving into Black, gay love and the tenderness present in the best companionships, romantic or otherwise,” boasts a press release about the album. 

The follow-up to his debut album, soil, one of 2018’s most praised albums of the year, DEACON “allows compassion to be the backbone of serpent’s art as he communes with his most loving self.”
Co-written and co-produced by serpent with Sampha and Lil Silva, the album champions twarm friendships. Throughout, serpent’s compelling voice glides over percussive beats and lithe instrumentation while Sampha and Lil Silva’s vocals join in for the chorus.

Directed by Kordae Jatafa Henry, the accompanying music video features intimate clips of serpent and his partner on a beach.

“I dedicate ‘Fellowship’ to anyone who has had a good friend or been a good friend,” says serpent.

 Deacon highlights serpent’s growth as a songwriter. The album came together after serpent relocated to Los Angeles, a city that provided him with “a sense of tranquility.” While crafting the album, serpent made the deliberate decision to exclude songs about heartbreak. Spending time with pop songwriters and observing how they “traverse language encouraged serpent to take more risks lyrically,” resulting in more direct approach.

“I originally approached this project wanting to make something that felt very sensuous,” says serpent in a press release. “Something a lot softer, a lot more gentle than my previous work.”
Born to religious parents, serpentwithfeet has detailed his experiences growing up in church and leaning into the sensibilities of gospel music. He approached DEACON with a reverence for the genre, and the album’s title takes its name from the Christian office. A “deacon” helps maintain order within the church and himself.

“I wanted to create something that felt calm and restrained,” says serpent.”This was my way of tapping into the energy many deacons possess.”

DEACON cover art by Braylen Dion



Jeff started writing about rock ’n’ roll some 20 years ago when he stood in the pouring rain to hitch hike his way to see R.E.M. on their Life’s Rich Pageant tour. Since that time, he's written for various daily newspapers, alt-weeklies, magazines and websites. Feel free to comment on his posts or suggest music, film and art to him at [email protected].