2019 gave us much in the way of music to celebrate in Northeast Florida; a glorious and eclectic mix of output, to be sure. Here are a couple tunes we really dug in ’19.
With a smattering of singles, an EP, and 2018’s full-length Lethologica, Jax-based indie wunderkinds Faze Wave–Matthew Flynn, Jacob Nemeth, Hunter Hileman, and Zachary Stickler–has earned a devoted following from all corners of North Florida’s sprawl with a modern, indie-tinged sound that ranges from drive-y, lo-fi rock to reverb-heavy surf to heartfelt confessional tunes.
For 2019’s “The Game” Faze Wave collaborated with bassist Hunter Hileman’s solo project Groove Inn, to create a laid-back, and moody tune that retains the indie-bonafides that made us fall in love with the band in the first place. What’s more, the fellas released an absurdist, colorful, enjoyably creepy video to go along with the song, which features geriatrics making a modern digital love connection, while a pastel-clad Faze Wave performs in what appears to be an old folks home.—Matthew Shaw
Is “twee” a four-letter word? If so, local indie-rock youths Solafide! are mega-vulgarians. Believe me, sensitive is good. Heartfelt is good. For some of us, emo is too damn gruff and our personal David Lee Roth-avatar is that chalky kid from the film Powder. True art is made by staying outside of the sun, lest one’s pale pallor leads to spontaneous combustion.
With their instant mope-core classic, “Stuck” SolaFide! penned a feel-good song that sounds like they feel bad. A kind of development of the Modest Mouse and MGMT sonic blueprint by way of Mutemath and Hippo Campus, the song bubbles along with admirably-processed electric guitars, a thick bass line that would make Jah Wobble blush, and effectively mellow, even disconsolate, harmonies. Technically, all of the above elements make Solafide!—Joseph Arns, Jonas Miller, Chase Barrett, Devon Vonbalson—a veritable “power twee” quartet. While the are young enough wherein they might possibly think Jethro Tull is the name of a chic camping store at the St. Johns Town Center isn’t that what makes the band even more appealing? Isn’t the music scene chock-a-block full of graying musicians strumming out monochrome “All is loss, I’m wearing a hat”-style ditties? Let the new blood pump in some suburban blues. (Ed Note: For more info on the history, subtleties, and application of the “gentle revolution” of “twee,” check out the book of the same name by Marc Spitz ).— Daniel A. Brown
Other tracks we loved in ’19:
Trella – “Happy to Be Here”
LPT – “Aquella Mujer” (Live from Void HQ)
The Black Toilet – “What What”
Hurricane Party – “Hurricane Party!!!”
The Young Step – “Ghost Town”
Cory Driscoll – “Vacation Artist”
rickoLus – “Over U”
Folk is People – “Ghost Birdie”
Odd Relics – “Matrimony”
Mercy Mercy – The Usual (Baby)
The Noctambulant – “Unholy Benediction”
LANNDS – “2093”
Sea Cycles – “Quota”
These features originally appeared as part of our feature “The Music We Needed: 19 Songs we loved in 2019” in Void Magazine, Vol. 10, Issue 6.