Born and raised in the Feral Python State, I’ve become used to constantly defending it and its weirdness. And since Creed also comes from that same state (sadly, and more specifically, from my hometown), I make it a point to learn of the many more awesome Floridian artists to cancel that out. Way down South, where rocking chairs are only outnumbered by mullets and plastic yard flamingos, a whole hotbed of killer hip-hop, psych-rock and folk is boiling up. Take a tour of what’s on the rise from Florida, sans sunscreen, in the latest installment of our 50 States Project.
Members: Ben Varian, Jacob Lee Tobin, James Folker, James Seadale, Emily Morris, Malee Bringardner
Album:Jeff Bridges Over Troubled Water :: Abridged
Echoes of The Rentals’ cheery girl-plus-guy vocals ring heavy in AIRCRAFT’s lush pop music. Swamp squirrel beats make the sweet outfit a better candidate for rollicking than rolling, and that’s totally perfect.
2. DAY JOY
Members: Michael Serrin, Peter Michael Perceval III, Travis Reed, Artie Burer, Adam Ibrahim
Album: Animal Noise EP
Truly elegant and heartbreaking lyricisms yank DAY JOY from beneath the ho-hum alt-country umbrella out into heartily-crafted folk sunlight. Low-mixed percussion compliment the emotive crooning, making for a cathartic post-break-up listen, despite Disney World traffic.
Members: Jack Vermillion, David Settle, Adam Berkowitz
Album: Atrocitus‚Äã/‚ÄãEx‚Äã-‚ÄãBreathers Split
Holler on. These dudes crudely fuse crunchy guitars, frenzied drums and well…hollering. I feel like they’re yelling about something vegan but I can’t be sure. Regardless, this threesome from Florida’s Capitol City certainly brings the Myakka soil circle pit to life.
4. Half Undressed
Members: Sam Acevedo, Kyle DuBois
Album: Half Undressed
Half Undressed’s soft, breathy shoegaze blows outta Gainesvegas. The two use simple guitar strums and fuzzed-out vocals to make hazy, easy-to-swallow harmonies.
5. Hundred Waters
Members: Nicole Miglis, Trayer Tryon, Paul Giese, Zach Tetreault, Sam Moss
Album: Hundred Waters
Voices warble like an underwater spell in Hundred Waters’ enchanting electric-folk potion. Rowdy piano bar moments arise just as often as those encouraging an absinthe-champagne cocktail on some rural, gator-infested front porch. (Photo by Chris Hillman)
Members: David Levesque
Album: Look A Little Closer (out Sept. 25)
Levesque lays the chill, tropical beats on thick as Levek. The music pouring forth is undiluted cuddlecore, sometimes with hints of classic British folk. He sings of love, of nonsense, of invasive home fungi—and it’s always just charming cuteness paired with the unarguable fact that this guy definitely knows what he’s doing. (Photo by Aaron Beasley)
7. Mystery Date
Members: Isabella Folmar, Rosie Richeson
Two female friends simultaneously entered singledom, lopped their locks and joined creative forces as the Panhandle’s Mystery Date. The Facebook band page describes the birth as “TYPICAL.” The garage twee that ensues is both precious and jangly. (Photo by Whitney Borkowski)
8. Set And Setting
Hometown: St. Petersburg
Members:Shane Handal, John Allen, Mark Etherington, Stephen Handal
Album: 2012 US Tour EP
Set And Setting fire up an imagined narrative in each gorgeous, epic instrumental. The band may hail from a town often identified with dolphins and elaborate sand sculptures, but the sound they create is more like a rugged, red-rock canyon.
Members:Christopher Pringle, Ryan Turk, Paige McMullen, Chris Estes, Quinn Mellon, Jeremy Nix
Album: Propagating EP
This two-tracker from Duval County’s Wavefunctions hovers in the air like good stoner psych-rock should. Chris Pringles’ vocals beautifully haunt the dark instrumentation, shoving their sound right off the cliff into gothy bliss.
10. Willie Evans Jr.
Members: Willie Evans Jr.
Album: Currently working on an album constructed entirely from video, Beat Tape From Mars
Willie is a mega nerd, explaining his passion for crate-digging and the beats that follow. His flow is deep, smooth and dang near unforgettable, bridging together audiences more than the eight major bridges in his hometown.