Local Spotlight | 3 Northeast Florida songwriters you need to hear right now

New tunes from CS Hickey, DL is Ok and Pineapple Peace

Press photos of DL is Ok, Pineapple Peace and CS Hickey
Credit: (Clockwise from left) DL is OK, Pineapple Peace and CS Hickey press photographs courtesy of the artists

We’re always keeping our ear to the ground in order to put the spotlight on the beautiful noise emerging from Northeast Florida. This week, Jacksonville Music Experience contributors share three songs by local singer-songwriters that we think you’ll really dig.

Let’s dive in.

“Youth Crescendo” by Pineapple Peace

“How do you fall in love?” sings Jax singer-songwriter Lauren Chase on the first single from her new solo project Pineapple Peace. Chase, one-part of indie-folk duo Isabela Parole, posits the question as a matter of timeliness––a mindful reflection on current affairs or at least on some new addition to accumulated experience. The song opens with an atmospheric synth before Chase’s acoustic guitar and lo-fi vocals provide the opening salvo: “I was trying to reach a crescendo, standing by the window of my hotel.” Like her Isabela Parole counterpart (Souvineer), Chase has a lyrical gift for striking visuals, as well as a tasteful (see: effortlessly cool) approach to production, all of which is on display on “Youth Crescendo.”–Matthew Shaw  

-Stream “Youth Crescendo” on Apple Music

-Stream on “Youth Crescendo” Spotify

“Luckiest Bastard” by CS Hickey

Connor Hickey spent much the last decade navigating the local and national music scene as Fjord Explorer. Conveniently, even erroneously, once lumped into the “folkgaze” category, whether as a solo artist or with a backing band, Hickey has been able to push through that labeling; capturing the atmosphere of a slow-burn candle expressed through acoustic instruments and pensive lyricism. Now with his new five-song EP (on Houston’s Rue Defense label) and as CS Hickey, he puts a new flame within the flame. Opener “Luckiest Bastard,” with its casual start/stop intro, serves the song through dark guitar fingerpicking, Hickey’s impressive vocal dynamics, and a story that ruminates on age, defiance and powerlessness over time. All themes almost guaranteed to keep Hickey in a niche. Considering his ongoing body of work, that’s not a bad place to experience.–Daniel A. Brown

-Stream “Luckiest Bastard” on Apple Music

-Stream “Luckiest Bastard” on Spotify

“Florida Motel” by DL is OK

We first wrote about Florida man DL is OK’s “Florida Motel” in the summer of 2021, upon the release of Gravy Days, the St.-Augustine-by-way-of-New-York-City artist’s latest full-length. A standout track from that album, “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 the singer-songwriter calls “a good Hell.” DL is OK has now released a video for “Florida Motel,” which draws upon his diaristic narration, while adding a fun twinning element (think Jean-Claude Van Damme in Double Impact, minus the martial arts) to the song’s visual presentation.–Matthew Shaw

-Stream “Florida Motel” on Apple Music

-Stream “Florida Motel” on Spotify

Dig in to more new music from local, regional, national and international artists on our Fresh Squeeze playlist.

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