Local Spotlight | 4 Great New Tracks from Jax Artists Out Now

Bad Madonna, Bedford Cords, Jacob Hudson and a Kate Bush cover

Bad Madonna, Bedford Chords, Severed + Said and Bad Madonna, Jacob Hudson
Credit: (From left) Bad Madonna, Bedford Chords, Severed + Said and Bad Madonna, Jacob Hudson press photos courtesy of the artists

We’re always keeping our ear to the ground in order to shine the high beams of our Local Spotlight series on Jacksonville regional artists. This week, Jacksonville Music Experience contributors share four new songs by local artists that we think you’ll dig.

Let’s dive in.

“Jaded” by Bad Madonna

As artists attempt to crack the mysterious (arbitrary?) code of streaming-service algorithms, many have taken to the slow drip-drip of single drops, stretching out an album’s worth of material over half-dozen months, or even a year, before dispensing with the full boat on a wing and prayer. A little less than six months since dropping her debut as Bad Madonna – the rootsy, acoustic-forward five-song EP Velvet Glove – Jax singer-songwriter Alexis Rhode is adopting a novel approach, releasing another five-song collection and going electric in process. Far from an attempt at algorithmic subversion, the sharp-left-turn of Iron Fist is an attempt to reconcile Rhode’s artistic multitudes. Featuring soft-loud dynamics, droning guitar figures and heavy doses of distortion, EP-standout “Jaded” is a formidable headbanger; as well as a great introduction to Rhode’s crack band.–Matthew Shaw

“It’s Nice” by Bedford Cords

In the ever-expanding multiverse of DIY music, a certain truth is that, while a band may be off-the-radar, they don’t require any removal from the playlist itinerary. Case in point: self-described Duval “analog, lo-fi, bedroom psych-pop band” Bedford Cords. Released last year, “It’s Nice” is all amp-hiss, mumbled vocals, meandering bassline and a primitivist evolution of the ‘80s/90s sleep-walking sounds of Galaxie 500 and Codeine. Mellow to the point of a refreshing pathology, as the singer intones what is “nice,” their tranquilized delivery makes the listener wonder if even the band believes their own collected vision: which, in overall intimate pleasure of “It’s Nice,” is a good thing! Bonus points for the ending of the song falling apart in an impressive circa-1991 Jandek regard.–Daniel A. Brown 

“To Get Away” by Jacob Hudson 

Tasteful production of subtle instrumentation and cinematic songwriting are staples of Jacob Hudson’s triumphant folk. On “To Get Away,” – the second of three singles he’s released this year foreshadowing a full-length of fresh material: Great Lakes (due out in October) – the St. Augustine singer-songwriter recounts an engrossing tale of international subterfuge, deploying a road-weary vocal over sparse percussion, a piano figure and a handful of dexterous electric guitar licks.–Matthew Shaw

“Running Up That Hill (A Deal with God)” by Severed + Said and Bad Madonna

When Jax-music-scene standouts John Touchton and Alexis Rhode got together to collaborate on a cover of “Running Up That Hill (A Deal with God)” by 20th-Century English pop star Kate Bush, the duo – who perform as Severed + Said and Bad Madonna, respectively – had no idea the original song (released in 1985) would become the song of the summer in 2022. With Bush’s version ascending to the top of the Billboard Global Charts, thanks to a sync in a July episode of Stranger Things, Rhode and Touchton considered shelving their moody and ambient take on the track. Thanks to encouragement from Cory Driscoll, fellow Jax musical artist and founder of local studio Long Jump Records where the song was tracked, the inspired cover is now streaming. Perhaps clairvoyantly, the Jax duo’s dark and drone-y take is an arguably been a better fit for the show; just sayin’!–Matthew Shaw

Tune in to JME’s music discovery station, The Independent 89.9 HD4, to hear the best new music from local, regional, national and international artists.

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