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Brash, soulful, and swaggering, the Seratones play R&B with the passion and ferocity of rock & roll. Founded in Louisiana, the Seratones' music is grounded by the vocal talents of A.J. Haynes, who can go from a soulful whisper to an earth-shaking shout to meet the demands of her songs. On their 2016 debut album Get Gone, their music was played at the midpoint between garage rock and vintage blues and soul, with an extra-large portion of energy. The group turned down the guitars a little and added a bit of funk and production polish when they cut the follow-up, 2019's Power, and 2022's Love & Algorithms was steeped in vintage funk and dance music influences, with a greater embrace of vintage electronic keyboards. The Seratones were formed in Shreveport by vocalist and guitarist A.J. Haynes, guitarist Connor Davis, and drummer Jesse Gabriel. The three were friends in the city's music community, and knew each other well from seeing shows and playing in various short-lived bands. In time, they began working on music together, and when the nascent combo won a block of recording time at a local studio, they evolved into a proper band. Bringing aboard bassist Adam Davis, originally from Corvallis, Oregon, the group adopted the name the Ceratones, from "cera," the Spanish word for wax. (Wax is also American slang for vinyl records.) They soon changed their billing to the Seratones, playing on the word "serotonin," a chemical produced by the body that helps people feel happy. The Seratones soon became favorites on the Louisiana club circuit, and when they played a show in Hot Springs, Arkansas, they shared the bill with an act called Nerves. The lead singer of Nerves worked in the warehouse at Fat Possum Records, one of the South's strongest indie labels, and on the advice of his warehouse man, the label's head, Matthew Johnson, checked out the band. Johnson liked what he heard, and the Seratones were soon signed to Fat Possum. The band's debut album, Get Gone, was released in May 2016. A few changes were evident when the group's second album, Power, came out in 2019. The Seratones had jumped from Fat Possum to New West Records, and Connor Davis had left the lineup, while they expanded to a five-piece with the addition of Travis Stewart on guitar and Tyran Coker on keyboards and guitar. The album eased back on their garage rock influences in favor of an attack more deeply rooted in R&B and funk. When they rolled into the studio to record 2022's Love & Algorithms, producer Paul Butler helped the core trio of A.J. Haynes, Travis Stewart, and Jesse Gabriel with instrumental chores. The album doubled down on the stylistic shifts of Power, with the group citing Giorgio Moroder as an influence on the clean surfaces and use of vintage electronic keyboards.
© Mark Deming /TiVo


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