blisters is the critically acclaimed debut EP by serpentwithfeet, and his first release on Tri Angle Records. Given that he credits both Brandy and Bjork as inspirations, it's not surprising that serpentwithfeet treads a fine line between emotive gospel and more left-of-centre stylings. With his own gloriously outré personal style and penchant for the dramatic, it also makes sense that the music Wise makes would be so remarkably unclassifiable. "It feels very free because I also feel very free," he says. 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. The End."
Tracks like 'penance' and 'redemption' vacillate between hushed intimacy and huge emotional swells. On the EP's title track, Wise's multi-tracked voice plays against gently-plucked harp and syncopated handclaps, the record’s gospel affectations and slinky R&B tropes fusing into something unique, exotic, and strangely beautiful. Meanwhile, surrounded by strings, subtle electronics and Wise's restrained piano playing the EP's first single, 'flickering,' is the perfect showcase for Wise's powerhouse voice. "I'm starting to feel the cord connecting us two is made of gossamer," he sings. "I'm starting to feel there's no cord between us two / are we made of gossamer?" The track unspools with a kind of hushed intimacy, the tone and tenor of Wise's voice rising and falling like a breath until the song itself crests and flutters before disappearing completely.
- four ethers