Serafia Jane – ‘Touching My Soul’

Maybe it’s just me. Maybe I’m not rolling in the right circles, but the idea of contemporary R&B music (in the vein of Maxwell and Erykah Badu, as opposed to, say, the Temptations) being made in Austin just feels weird. When you think about Austin music, you think about Stevie Ray, Willie Nelson, or Spoon. There’s some hip-hop, there’s some funk, but…R&B? Where would they even perform? Well, Serafia Jane is here to answer these questions.

Jane was a vocal jazz major at Texas State. She’s been performing in the Austin circuit for six years now, in a variety of different capacities – jazz, blues, soul. Over time she built up her chops and got to know the industry both in and out of Austin. But she recently connected with producer Adam McInnis – a Christian rocker who has produced in an array of genres. Together they steered Jane’s sound in a fresh direction, which I, for one, haven’t heard a lot of here on Austin’s mean streets.

Serafia Jane - 'Touching My Soul'

“Touching My Soul” is the first single out from Jane’s new project, and it is a much more modern and contemporary sound than what she’s been involved with in the past. It certainly isn’t R&B of the neo-soul variety, but you can hear those influences in Jane’s delivery. Her sultry voice delivers a plaint alternating between electrifying, relaxing and pleading. Her nocturnal encounter sounds like it could be the start of something magical, or merely a disappointment that she wishes would materialize into something more. And it’s that ambiguity that’s enticing.

The beat itself borrows from British house and trip-hop. It’s simultaneously dark and bright, which helps keep the track from ever settling on one particular emotion. Its percussion is fast enough to have you dancing, but the chords are so languid that it’s hard to envision letting go to this at a club. Jane and McInnis are perfectly happy to cede control of the song throughout, making for a great balance.

There isn’t anything else to hear from Jane at the moment, but she says that she’ll be finishing up a big EP in the next several weeks. A release date is unclear, but we’ll of course keep you posted.

– Carter