Local Spotlight | 4 great tracks by Jax artists out now

New tunes from Awkward Groove, Cory Driscoll, Strangerwolf and Severed + Said

Photographs of Cory Drsicoll, Severed + Said, Awkward Groove and Strangerwolf
Credit: (Clockwise from left) Cory Driscoll press photograph by Nicholas Loria, Severed + Said press photograph by Rebecca Rose, Awkward Groove press photograph courtesy of the artist, screen grab from Stangerwolf music video for "Authors (reimagined)"

The Jacksonville Music Experience team keeps its collective ear to the ground in Duval County in order to put the spotlight on the beautiful noise emerging from the First Coast and reverberating across the globe.

Here’s four great new tracks by Jacksonville artists out right now.

“Delayed Sad” by Severed+Said

Duval mope fiend John Touchton, aka Severed+Said, has been releasing minimal, dark-hued electronic music for roughly the past decade. Severed+Said’s latest full-length Tragic Seeker (Not Not Fun Records) maintains Touchton’s attempts at creating “ritualistic synthesizer music” that is refreshingly tethered to early electro-synth music like the seminal Krautrock of 1971’s Cluster, Kraftwerk, and the earliest ‘70s UK scene’s forays into bringing Stockhausen to the dance floor, without sounding mawkish or coyishly retro. “Delayed Sad,” the first single from Tragic Seeker, is an impressive seven minutes of driving drone, propelled by oscillators, gurgling beats, and features a nice, unexpected break/outro that keeps the piece current and looking forward. Available on cassette and digital download, “Delayed Sad” and Tragic Seeker are worthy offerings from Touchton, and a cogent argument that humans and machines can coexist—even when our endless tech-devices might try to convince us otherwise.–Daniel A. Brown

-Preview Tragic Seeker on Bandcamp


“Hope Changes” by Cory Driscoll

Jax-based singer-songwriter Cory Driscoll’s latest, “Hope Changes” is a subdued, meditative ballad that strikes an optimistic tone over restrained instrumentation that’s painted with broad strokes of pedal steel guitar. “I hope that it breaks you,” Driscoll sings, sounding aggrieved in the song’s opening verse, before softening, “but I really hope it mends you back into… however it shapes you, I truly hope it changes your heart.” Backed by a chorus of “oohs” and “ahhs,” Driscoll captures the precariousness of acceptance. “Hope Changes” is the second single from Driscoll’s forthcoming nine-song collection Eureka Springs (due out in March on Long Jump Records).–Matthew Shaw

-Listen to “Hope Changes” on Spotify


“Diddy Bop” by Awkward Groove feat. Cartier Cal and Lrk Chronicle

It’s a new year, and Jacksonville musician Awkward Groove is providing motivation for all those making resolutions and setting #goals with “Diddy Bop,” a club-driven jam that’ll inspire one to focus on building their capital and being merry while collecting. On “Diddy Bop” Groove finds strength in his affinity group, with Duval emcees Cartiercal and Lrk Chronicle adding their point of view over a local producer SkyChaser Beat’s addictive sonic landscape. So when you get some extra coins or your regular paycheck, turn this song on and dance around with no worries. “Diddy Bop” appears on Awkward Groove’s 10-song 2021 collection The Late Bloomer.–Al Pete 

-Stream “Diddy Bop” on Spotify


“Authors (reimagined)” by Strangerwolf

Indie-folk trio Strangerwolf returns with its first new single since 2021’s “All is Borrowed, Nothing is Lost,” a lush, charming track called “Authors (reimagined).” Rooted in baroque acoustic guitar picking, contemplative electric guitar melodies and soaring harmonies, “Authors” is yet another satisfyingly ruminative neo-folk number from a group that continues to grow both within and outside of the strictures of the genre.–Matthew Shaw


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