Experimental | Soul | Baroque Pop
The vocally talented and highly unique artist Josiah Wise, also known as serpentwithfeet really won me over with his debut studio album soil, which I managed to cover in my “last minute reviews” week back in 2018. That album displayed a colourful and whimsical atmosphere that really spelled good things to expect from the artist in the near future.
While we have finally been given the first proper compilation of new serpentwithfeet songs since soil, said compilation has arrived in a small ration of three tracks; enter, the Apparition EP
To be as blunt as I possibly could with this EP, the amount of songs on here seems to be the most glaring issue for me. I normally find EP’s to be trickier to review than albums anyway, but an EP with pretty much the bare minimum of tracks to even qualify it as such, makes it quite difficult for me to write a review for this, without making it incredibly brief.
To elaborate on the duration of this EP, Apparition lasts a total of just over 8 minutes. Given the fact that I’ve heard plenty a single that lasts longer than this whole EP, I feel that it was barely worth naming it an EP at all. I would ease on the criticism of this if perhaps this was a part 1 of a series of EP’s, but nothing seems to be pointing at that just yet.
Aside from my rather negative perception of the duration, the tracks that we get with Apparition do sound pretty good for the most part, and fit in well with the rest of Wise’s discography. However, with so few of them, they needed to be far more dynamic, engaging, and gripping to really make this EP memorable. Instead, we have three tracks that are more ambient and stripped back that I would’ve hoped for on an EP as brief as this one.
I reckon I would need to elaborate on each of the singles for the sake of beefing this review up a little bit more, sore here goes…
The opening track of this EP “A Comma” served as the highlight of the EP for me, and the most enjoyable track on Apparitions in my opinion. As well as a soulful and mystifying production, this track also has an encouraging (and very relevant) message that tells people that “life can get easier”. This track also seems to carry the most of Wise’s personality as well.
“This Hill” is also quite an enjoyable track. While not as engaging as the track that came before it, it has a very solid sense of progression, and feels very serene in its atmosphere.
The Ep then concludes with the third and final track “Psychic”, which honestly felt a bit too weak of a track for me. Despite listening to it several times now, I had to listen to it again as I write this review, just to remember what it sounded like. It’s not necessarily a bad sounding track, just a lot more forgettable than the previous two.
It pains me to say that serpentwithfeet’s newest release will most likely have little to no impact upon 2020’s musical catalogue. I would’ve much preferred to wait another year or so for a full-fledged album that could’ve helped to alleviate these three tracks a lot more.
Favourite Track: A Comma
Least Favourite Track: Psychic