Local Spotlight | The best new music by Jax artists out right now

Jesabel's Infectious pop, top-notch hip-hop from IntricateTheAlmighty, Howdy says "aloha" to L.A., Lazuli Vane steeps a funk-laced brew and a Lynchian new video from Cory Driscoll

Jacksonville artists Lazuli Vane, Jesabel, Cory Driscoll, IntricateTheAlmighty and Howdy
Credit: Clockwise from left Lazuli Vane by Sydney Whitten, Jesabel courtesy of the artist, Cory Driscoll by Kat Tarbett, IntricateTheAlmighty courtesy of the artist and Howdy by Sydney Whitten

Though the Jacksonville Music Experience team covers new music from around the globe, we’re always keeping our collective ear to the ground, locally. And right now, our Jax-made-music cup overfloweth.

Here’s a rundown of the five best new tracks by Jacksonville artists, all of which appear on JME’s November Fresh Squeeze playlist on Spotify.

“Squeeze” by IntricateTheAlmighty

Duval-based rapper IntricateTheAlmighty is the kind of thorough and calculating emcee that other lyricists, if they step to him, do so at their own peril. On the new song “Squeeze,” Intricate gives a clear-cut description of the consequences of opponents attempting to challenge his dominion. Over a nocturnal beat that seems to signal the rapper is continuing to put in the work well past the midnight hour, “Squeeze” invokes the 1995 trial of O.J. “The Juice” Simpson, Intricate building an allegory for the precariousness of being on top. Listen and learn.–Al Pete

“Every Excuse” by Jesabel

The latest from Jacksonville singer-songwriter Jesabel is the kind of ambitious indie pop that’s more easily suited for FM radio than open-mic nights at coffee houses. The lush and cathartically sung “Every Excuse” makes effective use of dynamics, building its sonic infrastructure in the verses before unleashing a lethally infectious soundscape for the song’s hook––layered background vocals, dramatic cymbal crashes and open-chord electric guitar strums buoy Jesabel’s simple cadence “You’ve got every excuse.”–Read the full review

“All Great Love” by Cory Driscoll

A crafty songwriter, Cory Driscoll’s also an ambitious and calculating artist capable of tying together loose threads across a sprawling composition and building upon them, both visually and sonically. Driscoll carries that ambition over to the first song and Lynchian new video from his new album, a keyboard driven tune called “All Great Love” that’s painted with bold strokes of cryptic and colorful lyrics.–Read the full review.

Chamomile (Smoke Rings) by Lazuli Vane

On the tripped-out “Chamomile (Smoke Rings),” Neptune Beach multi-instrumentalist Patrick Taylor’s newest single as Lazuli Vane, certainly seems to find the artist in a good mood. “Chamomile brings rest / you know the truth stings best / you couldn’t grow wings / just blowing smoke rings,” Taylor sings on one of the song’s many playfully cryptic lines, before offering what may be the artist’s new mantra: “Sweet enough, looking up, giving love, getting love, building trust.”–Read the full review.

“Stay in L.A.” by Howdy

On “Stay in L.A.” Jax Beach-based indie-folk vaquero Howdy laments the magnetism of the City of Flowers and Sunshine. “Don’t give me a reason / Just give me the weekend,” Howdy namesake Landon Gay croons over puffs of pedal-steel guitar and delicate percussion provided by Christian Pittman. While sonically “Stay in L.A.” calls to mind another paradisiacal Pacific Ocean-adjacent locale (Aloha!), lyrically Gay feels the tug, not of temperate weather and azure waves, but of a budding romance (“When the sun comes up there’ll be tears on my face unless you kiss me and say: ‘Stay in L.A.’”).–Read the full review.

Want a full glass of Fresh Squeeze? Dig into our playlist featuring the best new music from local, regional, national and international artists below.

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