As we rounded out 2020, artists from Northeast Florida were releasing music at a record clip. That trend toward prodigious productivity has continued into the New Year, with a slew of new and very good cuts from stalwarts of the Jax music scene, as well as new arrivals.
It’s been a broad range of tune-age, too! From baroque ballads to deep house dance tracks, guttural black metal, and sunny pop, the latest standout tracks are reflective of the city’s eclectic creative community.
Here’s a playlist of new tunes from Jacksonville-based artists that Void contributors recommend putting in your earholes.
**Keep scrolling if you want to read more about the local artists who landed on the playlist.
Modern rock soundscape. Confessional lyrics. Anthemic chorus. Yuno’s gone emo!
On a new live recording of stripped-back acoustic tracks, Che Forreign spits and runs scales, breathing gratefulness and joy like a Buddhist monk.
“Make U Feel”
Similar to his film photography, Tenny Rudolph’s music is a kind of amalgamation of vintage styles. And “Make U Feel” eases comfortably into 90s Deep House. And like everything the young artist seems to do, the new track will make you feel.
Howdy namesake Landon Gay is clearly a studied purveyor of contemporary cowboy tunes. On “El Paso” he turns an explanatory postcard message into a pining, lofi, countrified ballad.
“Stick Up Kid”
The latest cut and accompanying video by Duval hip-hop artist Jahny Steel is a macro-dose of 21st-century trippery. Propelled by a slo-mo, skull-shaking processed beat, the production is so sparsely eerie that it sounds like a fresh ghost taking a crack at a basscore mix.
“Four Track Love Song”
The new offering from rickoLus finds Jacksonville’s top-tier singer-songwriter digging deep into his Jax Beach roots. “Four Track Love Song” is the debut single from his forthcoming release Bones (out March 5), a concept album chronicling his years as a Beaches native.
Indie-pop stylist HUAN rides the chill wave of ‘90s nostalgia with the first cut from a forthcoming collection of sunny, lofi, R&B-inflected tunes.
There is arguably no conversion to real black metal, no Road to Damascus paved in fresh blood and sinew of slaughtered Christians, no blinding dark flash. You adhere to it, letting the marauding beats, guttural vocals, and cathedral-burning guitar tones permeate your being. Locally bred melodic black metal lords The Noctambulant know this; their tacit mix of talent, humility, and pursuit bears this out. In part, this explains their immense popularity around the globe, while still remaining a kind of secret handshake (the best kind) locally. Their recent single, “Hellrazor” encapsulates their familiarity with the roots of the form, while not getting tangled in the thorny brambles of cliche or aping their predecessors. In a genre of sometimes binary exaggeration, band founder Philip Newton and crew tighten their menace with restraint— “Hellrazor” is yet another formidable song from a band that continues to make impressively inventive melodic black metal. Why not heed the call?
-Daniel A. Brown from Void’s Feb. 2021 issue
Though the group’s name may reference a Neptune Beach thoroughfare, Seagate’s sound could easily have emanated from Manchester, UK circa 1982. Propelled by lush sonic layers and frontman Sam Baglino’s brooding vocals and vibrato-heavy rhythm guitar, “Dog Days” calls to mind The Smiths mid-80s opus The Queen is Dead.
For more local music playlists, follow Void on Spotify.