Local Spotlight | “Stay in L.A.” by Howdy

Jacksonville indie-folk cowboy says "Aloha" to the West Coast

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Credit: Cover art from Howdy's single "Just Stay in LA" | Photograph by Sydney Whitten

California retains a mythical quality in the hearts and minds of East Coasters. Los Angeles, too––despite its labyrinths of on- and off-ramps, fire hazards and (now) mosquito problems––can weigh heavy on the imagination of a right-coast romantic.

A West Coast pilgrammage, then, is a must; if only to realize the grass is always greener.

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.'”).

Like Howdy’s previous release “El Paso“, Gay wrote “Stay in L.A.” during a summer road trip out West, which is fitting both musically, and narratively, speaking. More continuity is found in the collaborative efforts put forth for “Stay In L.A.” as fellow Duval cowboy Patrick Taylor (Lazuli Vane), produced, mixed, and engineered the track, and also added electric guitar and bass, while Gay plays the acoustic guitar and pedal steel.

Dig into the track below via your preferred platform.

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