Local Spotlight | 4 New Songs by Jax Artists Out Now

Tai Boujie is "So Florida." And so are the rest of these Duval artists.

Ulysses Owens Jr., Everything To Me, Suntouch House and Tai Boujie press photos
(From Left) Ulysses Owens Jr., Everything To Me, Suntouch House press photographs courtesy of the artists, and screengrab from Tai Boujie's "I'm So Florida" music video

We’re all about music discovery here at the Jacksonville Music Experience. As we unearth new tunes from artists around the globe almost daily, we love to shine the high beams of our Local Spotlight series on the beautiful noise emerging from Northeast Florida. This week, we’ve got four great new tracks by Jacksonville artists.

Let’s dig in.

“Nature Boy” by Ulysses Owens Jr. Big Band

Duval jazz drummer Ulysses Owens Jr. keeps his current activities at a fast tempo. Not yet 40 years old and the Jacksonville native has worked with (among others) Grammy-winning artists Kurt Elling and Christian McBride, been praised by the New York Times and All About Jazz, and snagged a 2022 Artist-in-Residence for the Armstrong Now! Program under the auspices of The Louis Armstrong House Museum. He continues this forward momentum with a new release. On the title track, Owens Jr. and his savvy ensemble tackle “Nature Boy,” an evergreen-albeit-mystical song from the American Songbook. In lieu of the classic ballad-like interpretations by predecessors including Nat King Cole, Frank Sinatra, John Coltrane, and even Alex Chilton, Owens Jr. and the band kick eden ahbez’s 1940s composition into high-gear, with plenty of group soloing and velvet-smooth vocals; along with their leader’s certain drum-kit chops swinging hard.–Daniel A. Brown 

“I’m So Florida” by Tai Boujie 

Duval County continues to emerge as a hotspot for discovering emerging artists. Case in point, rapper Tai Boujie, whose new tune “I’m So Florida” was included in Pitchfork’s Sunshine State-themed list: “12 Songs That Will Make You Grateful for Florida’s Expansive Current Rap Scene.” Boujie’s “I’m So Florida” is lyrically boastful, carrying a direct sound that makes it an easy one to bop to. Producer ChiToh offers hints of traditional Florida classics worked around deft percussion and wobbly synth leads. Adding to its appeal as a new Duval anthem, the video for “I’m So Florida” was shot on location in the 904 and features various landmarks, including Holley’s Bar B Q, a staple of Northwest Jacksonville.–Al Pete 

“Disgusting/Give Me The Gun” by Suntouch House

Suntouch House came thundering into Jacksonville’s hardcore scene in the middle of September with their first EP, Demonstration. The four tracks are a culmination of gnarled guitars, high-energy drums and commanding vocals. If you want to feel like you sprinted a marathon in eleven minutes, this EP is for you. The guitar riffs in the bridge of the closing track, “Disgusting/Give Me The Gun,” have an eerie haunted-skatepark sound that’s perfect for Florida fall. The band’s members, Nick Dilts (vocals), Reed Cothren (vocals and guitar), Troy Head (guitar), Jeremy Atkins (bass) and Dylan Mikos (drums) are no stranger to Duval, performing in standout local acts, including Leaving Time, Yashira and Colonial Wound.–Carissa Marques

“Signal Fires” by Everything To Me 

Everything To Me first pledged their allegiance to the new world order of post-punk in 2020 with the nine-song offering of industrial miscellany Anodized Gold. On their latest EP, Modern Loss, the Duval three piece continues marching to the beat of its own drum machine with a trio of tunes that brood with dark ambience as often they shimmer with effervescent touches. The group brings the BPM’s to a nearly inert stall on the EP’s closing number, the melancholy and meditative “Signal Fires,” tastefully layering the accoutrements: glacial guitar leads and a twinkly piano motif behind shadowy vocals.–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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