The Florida music scene is about to lose one of its most promising talents.
The Fort Lauderdale-based Jacob Jeffries Band are currently in the process of uprooting their outfit and heading north to Brooklyn. While I certainly can't fault the band for said decision it is a crippling blow to the Sunshine State. Seen last Thursday at The Abbey Theatre in downtown Orlando, the quartet performed a master-class of first-rate piano-driven pop rock.
Whether it was the infectious single "Crazy Under the Moon," the hook-driven "Worth the Wait," or the Southern rock howl of "Coming Home," there was something incredibly potent and intoxicating about every passing second. Jefferies is a born performer and his charisma knows no bounds. As a live band, the songs are deeper and more compelling than on disc, and with nuggets like The Beatles "Why Don't We Do It In The Road," and "Baby, You Can Drive My Car," thrown into the set, there was little reason to not smile. What is Florida's loss is now Brooklyn's gain.
But with the departure of the JJB, comes two new additions. Stockholm, a fiery quintet from Orlando plays blistering, radio-ready new wave not unlike The Killers, et al. Equally as captivating, if not more so, than the Jacob Jefferies Band, the group had a polish and sheen that was alarming, eye-opening and nothing short of spellbinding. Vocalist Chris Arter absolutely owns the stage and has a commanding presence that draws you in. The band, who was once signed to Island Def Jam, definitely has a major label presence about them and seems more than ready for their share of the national spotlight. From start to finish, there was nary a flaw, and each of the seven songs were nothing short of stunning.
[Editor's Note: I attend more than 30 concerts a year and have been going to concerts since I was 15. That's roughly 16 years of concerts. I have not seen a live set, in a venue that size, as captivating as Stockholm's, in at least two years. It was truly spellbinding]
Though considerably less compelling than JJB or Stockholm, the Clearwater-based quintet The Normandy played a strong set of seven alt-rock cuts. Somewhere in the vein of Paramore and Kenotia, the songs were guitar-driven with a strong female presence. Being that vocalist Lyska is only in her third month with the band, there's a good chance that the band will only grow stronger as the months go on. As a frontwoman, Lyska is inarguably sexy, undeniably captivating and has a serviceable voice. Her only issue right now is becoming more kinetic and charismatic on stage. As of right now, she just feels like a hired gun. The band cites Thrice, Thursday and Circa Survive as influences and those three are definitely present on the band's two strongest songs; the hook-driven "Lonely Lungs," and the sparkling "Forest Fire."
More information on The Normandy, can be found here.
Stockhom can be found here.
And the Jacob Jefferies Band can be found here.