♫♪  serpentwithfeet - “flickering” [prod. by The Haxan Cloak]

Photo: Elliot Brown Jr.

The impeccably curated Tri Angle label has just dropped the debut single from an artist named serpentwithfeet, a.k.a. Josiah Wise. The 27-year-old Wise is a Baltimore-born, New York-residing musician embedded in the underground queer music scene. We first caught wind of him last year on a noisy track with Chino Amobi for his NON imprint, but serpentwithfeet’s single “flickering” is a different beast altogether.

The result of years of classical vocal training and experimentation, the song subsumes genre with wide-eyed grace, softly wielding a sparse, patient aesthetic not unlike the R&B-inflected, piano-driven minimalism of, say, James Blake or Antony. The track is gifted an even wider expanse from the subtle production work of The Haxan Cloak, who has similarly expanded the scope for artists like The Body and Björk.

“It feels very free because I also feel very free,” said Wise. “I don’t feel like being gay restricts me in the same way I also don’t feel like being black restricts me. In fact, it only makes me more interesting. Making music has always been about making a space for myself in the world. My theory has always been that if you walk into a room and say, ‘This is my room’ — it’s your room.”

Listen to “flickering” below.

Chocolate Grinder

CHOCOLATE GRINDER is our audio/visual section, with an emphasis on the lesser heard and lesser known. We aim to dig deep, but we’ll post any song or video we find interesting, big or small.

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