Album of the Week: Seratones, 'POWER'

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Seratones
Seratones - Power (New West Records)

AJ Haynes of Seratones is one of the most impressive band leaders I've come across in 15 years of doing in-studio sessions. It was back in September of last year when they played at The Entry and their album POWER had just been released. They had gotten a ton of critical praise for their debut in 2016, Get Gone, but had suffered some lineup changes, so had that not added to the inevitable pressure to deliver that comes with the follow up album I asked? "I really had no anxiety about the sophomore record, you know, you buy the ticket, take the ride! It's an exciting time to reinvent yourself... it feels real good."

The debut had been described as proto-punk, hard to define, but AJ's voice and instincts can seamlessly work around and through the genres of rock, soul and funk. She also didn't shy away from delving deeper into her self for the writing process on the new album. Yes, POWER does refer to global themes and dynamics but it is also much more personally revealing than the debut and that intimacy lends strength to the songs. "I've learned that as artists, we will be rewarded for our vulnerability," AJ explained and that is one of the most powerful phrases anyone has uttered in our studios.

It's the precision and passion of AJ's voice that carries the group, but she's also a very accomplished Fender Jazzmaster player. In fact she was honored to be chosen as one of the artists to represent the famous guitar during the 60th anniversary celebrations last year. This year her and the band will be helping us commemorate our 15th Anniversary at First Avenue this Saturday and I couldn't be more proud. She's exactly the kind of artist that we love to champion, respectful of the traditions that she's working in, formidably accomplished at her craft and generating something unique for our time.

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  • Seratones play a 'Power'-ful session in The Current studio, 2019 The Shreveport, La., five-piece visited The Current to play songs from 'Power,' their second full-length release. 'I'd never really had an anxiety about a sophomore record,' says lead singer and guitarist AJ Haynes. 'You know: buy the ticket, take the ride.'
  • The Current's Guitar Collection: AJ Haynes of Seratones, Fender Jazzmaster Following Seratones' recent studio session, frontperson AJ Haynes took some time to tell us about why she plays a Fender Jazzmaster. 'It just suits me,' she says. 'I love a good surf sound and it's got that impeccably.' Find out more about AJ Haynes and her guitar of choice.
  • Seratones perform in The Current studio, 2016 Shreveport, La., band Seratones were signed to Fat Possum Records in 2015, and released their debut album, 'Get Gone', in May 2016. They've been touring heavily since then. 'You're constantly riding in and out of an adrenalin rush,' says frontperson AJ Haynes. 'It's kind of addictive, actually!' Before a show at the Turf Club in St. Paul, Minn., Seratones stopped at The Current for a session hosted by Bill DeVille.

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