R. E. Seraphin

Bay Area Songwriter & Musician

© R.E. Seraphin. All rights reserved.


as R.E. Seraphin:
Tiny Shapes LP (Paisley Shirt Records/Mt.St.Mtn.)
A Room Forever EP (Paisley Shirt Records/Mt.St.Mtn.)
Swingshift EP (Mt.St.Mtn./Tear Jerk Records/Dandy Boy Records/Safe Suburban Home)
Fool's Mate LP (Take a Turn Records/Safe Suburban Home)
w/ Talkies:
Sojourner EP (Death Records)
Bright / Sunny LP (Burger Records)
Kowtow LP (Electrify Me Records/Yippee Ki Yay)
“Never Fear” b/w “Hollow” 7” (La Ti Da Records)
w/ Mean Jolene:
Try Harder LP (Austin Town Hall)
w/ Glitz:
It’z Glitz LP (Grazer Records/White Zoo Records)
w/ Lenz:
Under the Neon EP (Tic Tac Totally)
Ways to End a Day LP (1234 Go! Records)
“Leaving (the 21st Century)” b/w “Feeling” 7” (S-S Records)
w/ Impediments:
Self-Titled LP (Happy Parts Recording)
Broken Hits LP (Happy Parts Recording)
“Amphetamine Stepdad” single


R.E. Seraphin’s songs live in shadows and ambiguity. The Bay Area musician builds raucous, large-scale rock songs, then hushes them to ghostliness around intimate, murmuring vocals that tickle the inside of your ear. Here are anthemic choruses, amp-jumping rock licks and buzzing propulsion that echo through dream corridors, just out of reach.Fool’s Mate is Seraphin’s second-full length under his own name, following the debut Tiny Shapes from 2020 and a pair of EPs, A Room Forever and Swingshift. Denser, darker and more rock-oriented than his previous material, it was recorded with Jason Quever of the Papercuts at his home studio in Crockett, California.Seraphin had been playing with a full band as the lockdown eased, and this album reflects the live chemistry that he’s developed with his crew: guitarist Joel Cusumano (Sob Stories, Body Double), drummer Daniel Pearce (Al Harper, Reds, Pinks, & Purples), bass player Josh Miller (Chime School, Extra Classic), and keyboardist Luke Robbins. Seraphin, Pearce and Miller recorded the basic tracks live, then added Robbins’ keyboards in overdubs. In addition, Seraphin’s frequent collaborator Owen Adair Kelley of Sleepy Sun contributed acoustic and slide guitars, while his wife Hannah Moriah sang background harmonies.It is very much a rock album, with big Spector-esque arrangements and squalling guitar solos. And yet, it also digs into the shifting currents of the subconscious, incorporating snatches of dreams, half-remembered phrases from books and warped memories and imaginings into its textures. “The lyrics are meant to evoke a sense of corporeality — there are references to skin, sweat, teeth, and breath throughout the album, which I intended to unsettle the listener,” says Seraphin. “On the surface, they are love songs but there's a suggestion of something more ominous.”So, while “Bound” chimes with power chords and bristles with clattering drum beats in classic romantic pop style, it also shies away from connection. “No matter what you do to me/I will not be bound,” insinuates Seraphin, throwing a chill on sunny power pop forms. “Expendable Man,” likewise, lets fuzzy garage punk mayhem fly, but banks it down to an uneasy mutter.Seraphin writes quickly and intuitively, trying not to over-manage the flow of melody and lyrical imagery that comes to him naturally. The songs evolve as he works on them with his band, with the musicians often pushing them into unique and off-kilter directions. He likes to include at least one cover on every recording, this time, the Sinead O’Connor song, “Jump in the River,” which he gives an eerily propulsive, ominous spin.A veteran of rock and punk bands, Seraphin now finds himself drawn to sophisticated, storytelling lyricists like Giant Sand, Miracle Legion, Green on Red, Paul Westerberg, and Lloyd Cole. “I don’t really do traditional narratives in my own music, but I do enjoy the storytelling aspects of Americana music,” he said. “After playing in scrappy garage rock bands for over a decade, I’m drawn to more refined musicianship.”Fool’s Mate weaves all these disparate threads together—the kick of punk energy, the surreal intimacy of dreams and the nervy communal punch of live performance—into the best of R.E. Seraphin’s records so far. Full of hooks, but shrouded in mystery, it commands attention with a whisper.Jennifer Kelly (Aquarium Drunkard, Dusted)PRESS:“Seraphin’s music is often under the glow of a bright jangle, these tones more so color in the spaces rather than take center stage, accentuating the crunch and fuzz like light dancing on frosted glass.” - Counterzine"[Seraphin has] set his indie pop prism out into the light, letting out different shades with each new compact classic. This time he polishes his pop and keeps it close to the heart, but also breezes into a more stadium-sized sound that bursts from the bedroom to boil solos under the big lights." - Raven Sings the Blues"The latest offering from the former Talkies bandleader distills your favorite power pop phenomena into a DIY blender, riding high into a new stratosphere of new-new romantic revelry and grace unbound." - Week in Pop"... a year later, his tunes are similarly soft and scratchy, like a Jesus & Mary Chain song put on late at night, softly, so that you can barely hear it. So, while “Playing House” thumps and blares in an instrumental backing redolent of Exploding Hearts, its verse and chorus are murmured in your ear." - Dusted"A deft songwriter, Ray Seraphin expands his repertoire to let in a bit more light and color to his arrangements. While he is known for the crunch and jangle of his psychedelic pop creations, the seven tracks on Swingshift straddle the line into power pop and even add a few arena rock moments." - When You Motor Away"...he follows up the sheer brilliance of his Tiny Shapes (2020) album with an extensively musically layered EP of guitar-pop that simply refuses to nestle easily into the confines of genre parameters." - Janglepophub


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3/23/24 - Kilowatt (SF, CA) w/ Healing Potpourri, Magic Fig
3/29/24 - Permanent Records Roadhouse (LA, CA) w/ Color Green, Paint
4/12 - Little Hill Lounge (El Cerrito, CA) w/ Rob Miller Band