Local, local, local. We adore all things local: our businesses, beers, and even our veggies. Even more so, we love our local music! And behind every local act that Jacksonville has to offer is a record label that represents them wholeheartedly.
From jam bands to hardcore/punk, the Jacksonville music scene is eclectic indeed. With so many varieties of music and bands being created in Northeast Florida, people with a passion for developing young creatives have found a home base. Among the many are Dead Tank Records, Infintesmal, Jam Brothers, and the local Universities that pour into their music students. No one record label is beating others out for popularity, and all would agree that they are just trying to promote the Jacksonville music scene, and push it to be on par with other entertainment-driven cities.
What better place to find musicians than in the urban core? Infintesmal Records, which has set up camp in Historic Springfield, seeks to further the careers of local artists and has been doing so since early 2009. The men who started it all, Nick Schoeppel and Jimmi Bayer, have made a name for themselves in the music scene. Every musician you ask will recognize the label, and they are held in much regard. They have represented bands such as Honey Chamber, Dig Dog and Hey Mandible. These guys aren’t going anywhere as long as there are musicians in Jacksonville who need promoting.
A neighbor of Infintesmal is the excellent home-based Dead Tank Records in Riverside. The proof is in the Dead Tank section of Deep Search Records in Five Points. The locals want to know what Josh Jubinsky is promoting and listening to. Though he loves the local scene, Jubinsky is not exclusive to Jacksonville artists. He represents artists from all over, including Cloud Rat, which is a band from Michigan who is currently on a European tour. His artists hail from Cuba, Russia and even Japan. This is a win for Jacksonville music because our city is made notable by our local labels’ successes.
What is even cooler than locals pouring into the music scene, is labels from other cities seeing the potential that Jacksonville has and deciding to set up camp. This is the case for Jam Brothers Records. With its origins in New York, Atlanta and Los Angeles, Jam Brothers decided that the next big move would be to plant themselves in Jacksonville. The executive team at Jam makes sure they promote each artist more so than themselves, but it is nice to know that Jordan Mandel, founder of Jam, has recognized Jacksonville as a hub of up-and-coming music. They have an all-star roster, that includes Jimmy Carris of Amsterdam, who just signed with Sony, Dixie Daye, who rocked One Spark and hails from the United Kingdom, and Lo, a Jacksonville native. This year will bring even more talent added to the Jam Brothers’ lineup.
Pouring into the young college creative are Swamp Records in Gainesville, and Dolphinium Records at Jacksonville University. Both are student-run record labels that offer marketing, public relations and audio recording to the artists that attend. Founders of Swamp Records, Breanna Auberry and Rachel Ring, saw a need on the University of Florida’s campus, and they met it. Gone are the days of struggling college musicians who do not know the ins and outs of the music industry. The label now represents multiple acts, such as Bells and Robes, an electronic duo, and Flat Land, and indie band known for soul-drenched rock and roll. Dolphinium Records, from Jacksonville University, has similar roots. The authentically creative roots of JU show throughout the student body, and Dolphinium was created to speak for the student musicians. Dolphinium has an impressive lineup. Summer Goodman, recently released an album through Dolphinium. She has been seen on the stage at Underbelly, Rain Dogs, and even in the streets during One Spark. These University record labels fuel the future of the area’s music scene and raise up our next generation Joplin’s and Cash’s.
There are many notable labels in Jacksonville, but it is hard to ignore the upstart rising crop in the local scene. Records Until Death is a record label created by Drew Bond and Tom Essex in Riverside. The talent-packed duo has multiple releases to look forward to. Not only is a new Opiate Eyes’ album in the works, but so is a solo album curated by Drew Bond. Other releases include local bands “Cuckoo Clock” and “Personal Boy.” Another label making its way into the scene is Trutone Studios in Murray Hill. Led by the talented Jacob Hudson, this studio is bound for success. At 19 years old, Hudson has released two personal albums. His individual success has led to a desire to help other artists develop their sound and identity.
After visiting Jacksonville a few times, Jordan from Jam Brothers Records said, “for 10 years we traveled internationally then throughout the U.S. and Jacksonville was the most dynamic. It is central to key music markets and home to many who find it a creative mecca.” This could not be more true of the Jacksonville music scene and the local record labels who help promote these artists. Local musicians are the pride and joy of the River City. Vegetables and businesses can grow just about anywhere, but it is Jacksonville’s music scene that gives a pulse to our city and a pit of passion to our people. The best is yet to come, and folks, it will be oh so fine.
By Emily Simpson | Contributor