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serpentwithfeet is not only imagining, but exploring a world wherein Black love is paramount. His new album, DEACON, is “a study rather than a story,” delving into Black, gay love and the tenderness present in the best companionships, romantic or otherwise. DEACON highlights serpent’s growth as a songwriter, taking a more straightforward approach to expression. Spending time with pop songwriters and observing how they traverse language encouraged serpent to take more risks lyrically. Raised by religious parents in Baltimore, serpent’s flair for theatrical themes and gospel sensibilities can be traced to the Black church, a place where the artist had his earliest experiences with glamour and the ornate. Well-executed vocal flourishes and the implementation of a quickening vibrato are just a few of the skills he picked up during his time in a Pentecostal choir. He proudly follows in the tradition of R&B artists whose gifts were helmed in the church, and he approached DEACON with an undeniable passion and reverence for the genre. In his love for love, serpentwithfeet is offering a look into the soul of a man who articulates his passion in a warmer, gentler way. He’s become wholly confident in his gift and messaging on DEACON, which is to be expected when one gives vent to maturity. Through his music, he allows compassion to be the backbone of his art, as he communes with his most loving self.