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This Little Underground: The Solillaquists of Sound’s legacy

Jessy Lynn Martens on ‘Archer,’ the Falcon Soundraiser, Audiotourism

Photo: Photo by Christoper Garcia, License: N/A

Photo by Christoper Garcia

Solillaquists of Sound

Even if you watched Monday’s season opener of FX animated comedy series Archer, you probably didn’t realize it, but you heard an Orlando voice. Now, every time Cheryl sings, it’ll be the vocals of Jessy Lynn Martens (the rootsy local formerly known as Jessica Daumen). She worked with Drivin’ N Cryin’s Kevin Kinney and Aaron Lee Tasjan to make a full country music soundtrack for the season, so tune in.

The Beat

Last Saturday (Jan. 11) was a big day for locals. I braved the horde to lunch at the Sushi & Seoul on the Roll food truck at East End Market while it was being filmed by Cooking Channel program Eat Street. (That truck, by the way, has ties to the Orlando music scene: Its founder is also the boss behind soul extravaganza the Sh-Booms). While there, I saw Solillaquists of Sound’s DiVinci and Tonya Combs, possibly fueling up for the week’s most locally momentous music event that night: their big trilogy wrap party (the Social).

Coming off a career-defining three-album arc of increasingly exceptional work, Solillaquists brought the heat of victory and the release of accomplishment to the capacity crowd, bringing down the house in a blaze of hometown euphoria that few have ever stoked. There was spectacle: A grand tribal intro, world-class MPC exhibitions by DiVinci and practically levitating stage presence. There was revelation: They announced their sort-of death as Solillaquists and unveiled their “afterlife” concept. But most importantly, there was true inspiration.

Representing hard is all you really need to do to be a basic upstanding local. But doing their own work with pride, craftsmanship and vision – seemingly everything you could ask of any artist – isn’t enough for Solillaquists. Their work has always been actively rooted in their home context, and their scene activism is driven by the philosophy that a rising tide lifts all boats.

Between acts leading up to their performance, lead MC Swamburger kept introducing and giving shouts to the local talents in the house (fellow musicians, artists, filmmakers, writers, etc.) just to illustrate how rich the city is. The members even wore T-shirts onstage that yelled printed credit to locals who’d positively influenced them (like Chuck Dinkins and Anthony Cole).

Solillaquists’ hardcore local boosterism and rousing mobilization can make the efforts by practically all others, by comparison, seem like half hearts with cheap talk. It’s not enough to just succeed as card-carrying locals, SoS have been pulling the popular conception of Orlando up with them. As some of the most positive missionaries for Orlando music ever, they are the tide. I’m thinking keys to the city or some shit like that are in order here.

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