America isn’t exactly short of great new soul-infused acts at the moment – Leon Bridges, Alabama Shakes, Curtis Harding, Margo Price… even Twin Peaks on their latest material have a bit of an ‘Otis Blue’ thing going on, musically.
One of the best newcomers in recent months, though, are an act from Shreveport, Louisiana called Seratones. I first saw them last year at SXSW, when they’d just (literally, it was that week or something) signed to Fat Possum and come down on a whim. They were jaw-dropping live, with frontwoman AJ Haynes – a petite ex-schoolteacher with a big personality and even bigger fro – spending half their set walking up and down the bar, kicking people’s drinks over while mashing a tambourine into her hands as if Phil Spektor was stood at the other end pointing a gun at her.
I loved it, so I booked them to play NME’s CMJ show in October as soon as I could. There, it seemed like they’d grown massively as a band, but last month in Austin for SXSW 2016 was when it all really seemed to come together.
They’ve got a debut album called ‘Get Gone’ out on May 6, and below is a brand new track from it called ‘Sun’. Here’s a quote from AJ about the track: “When Connor [Davis, guitar] came up with that sinister melodic line, we had no choice but to see how far we could run with it. At the time I was teaching ‘Young Goodman Brown’ and listening to ‘Beggars Banquet’ on repeat, so that lovely thematic thread seamlessly wove into sound we were going for.”