Local Spotlight | “Florida Motel” by DL is OK

Singer-songwriter DL is OK is so Florida, man

Credit: Image provided by DL is OK

Though he spent his formative years building his catalog and amassing a following in New York City, St. Augustine-based singer-songwriter David Tashjian (AKA DL is OK) is so Florida, man. 

Tashjian’s sonic approach has drawn comparisons to the likes of Mark Knopfler and the War on Drugs’ Adam Granduciel; singular songwriters who deftly reign in a breadth of influences to craft approachable fare. And across a handful of albums, EPs and singles, Tashjian’s displayed a keen eye for Americana, deploying esoteric place-names and colloquialisms in observational, Petty-esque lyrics that’ll ring familiar even to those unfamiliar with the places from which he draws inspiration.  

And in the City of St. Augustine it seems Tashjian’s found a formidable foil, as a new single called  “Florida Motel” features a vibrant––and very Florida––collection of visuals: deco pink flamingos, buzzing neon signs, guns, stucco, “square grouper” (see: elicit flotsam) and the kind of day-to-day that involves weekly dive bar gigs and numbing oneself with hard alcohol; all of which constitute what Tashjian calls “a good Hell.”

“It’s my love song for the musicians that populate the local bars and dusted art-deco extended stays in my new hometown,” Tashjian says of the new tune. “They seem to weather all storms and are very deserving of a song.”

On “Florida Motel” Tashjian makes his observations over a subtle rim ride and languid electric guitar plucks. The song’s glacial pace and diaristic narration smacks, in many ways, of A1A-era Jimmy Buffet, when the Alabama-native and former journalist was palling around with Thomas McGuane, feeding off the bohemian and quite-literary mid-70s Key West culture and penning smart country tunes (underrated output that’s been overshadowed by Parrotheads, steel drums and incessant corporatization, in this writer’s opinion). 

In short: it’s a well-crafted, very Florida song penned by a Florida-enthusiast.

“Florida Motel” is the first single off of Gravy Days, a new full-length that is currently available on all streaming platforms.

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