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Seratones – Listen to Our Interview in the New Episode of Our Under the Radar Podcast

Aug 31, 2022

Seratones frontwoman A.J. Haynes is our next guest on Season 3 of our Under the Radar with Celine Teo-Blockey podcast.

Haynes’ Shreveport, Louisiana-based band (which also features bassist Travis Stewart and drummer Jesse Gabriel) released their disco-inspired third album, Love & Algorhythms, earlier this year via New West. At the time of writing the album, Haynes was also working full-time as an abortion advocate in the last standing abortion clinic in Louisiana, an experience that brought her close to burnout and informed much of the record’s theme of liberation, Afro-futurism and radical joy as a form of protest.

“Good Day,” the album’s uplifting lead single, blends gospel with bright polyrhythms. It was written in part as homage to author, documentary filmmaker and civil rights activist, Toni Cade Bambara—whose 1980 novel The Salt Eaters chronicles the emotional and psychological toll of women at the forefront of social justice movements. For the propulsive disco of “Pleasure” she turned to Octavia Butler’s science fiction series Xenogenesis (Lilith’s Brood)—an epic tale of transformation involving alien beings (the colonizing Oankali and the sexless ooloi) and the last surviving humans. It underpins issues of race, colonization, and gender.

The rich sonics of Love & Algorhythms proved that producer Paul Butler (Michael Kiwanuka, Devendra Banhart, Caroline Rose) was the ideal complement for Haynes, encouraging all her interests, especially in astrology and divination. Yet, at its core, Haynes admits that she wants “to 100 percent center Blackness,” as she believes that when Black people thrive, all of society does too.

In the episode, Haynes also reminisces about her childhood growing up in the Deep South, among the pine and pear trees of her grandmother and great-grandmother’s homes. And how that matrilineage owned property and their families ate off the land, thus giving Haynes a glimpse into what she’s fighting for, for herself and for her community.

Haynes is the President of the Board at the New Orleans Abortion Fund, fighting for reproductive rights and raising funds for abortion access. Seratones are currently on their national tour. The band’s previous album, Power, came out in 2019.

Listen to the episode below.

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Each monthly episode of Under the Radar features an interview with a different musician conducted by host and producer Celine Teo-Blockey.

On top of being available on all podcasting platforms the podcast also airs on WLUR, an NPR affiliate based in Lexington, VA (the city where Under the Radar is currently based).

Season 3 launched with episode one and our interview with Warpaint.

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