Could Tallahassee be the music mecca of Florida? If so, could Flip Flop Republic be next in a long line of genre defining artists from the region? North Florida and Tallahassee have a strong music pedigree. George Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic redefined funk music, T Pain’s influence on rap and R&B is unmistakable. Creed ruled the Alt Rock era with their soaring melodies and Ray Charles is a legend. The region punches above its weight when it comes to music.
The rock and reggae genre has been growing recently with one of the US’s largest modern reggae festivals hosted in Florida, Reggae Rise Up. The Flip Flop Republic’s sound contains echoes of the styles heard at Reggae Rise Up, but the new album also stands apart as fresh. Songs like “Heart Like an Anchor” and “Break Free” mix genres of rock and R&B with a gulf coast drawl. The band members hail from Mississippi, Miami, and St. Maarten, and those roots are reflected in the mashup of sounds. Vocalist/bassist Joe Lowder adds, “we are proud of being from Tallahassee, FSU brought us all together. How else would people from all over meet and make something this unique. I think that is Tallahassee’s secret sauce.”
Flip Flop Republic has evolved over the years, starting as a duo called the Flip Flop Boys ten years ago. Vocalists Doug Dolan and Joe Lowder just wanted to hang out at the beach and play music. Dolan states, “Our goal was to be down at St. George Island or PCB every weekend, and we did that pretty quickly. We had great support from venues in Tallahassee, St. George Island and Cedar Key, and we’re really grateful they took chances on us. Our first album was happy, beachy and about enjoying life. This new album has those elements but I feel we have matured as songwriters.”
Some of the songs like “Lost in the Fire” and “Mockingbird” strike a more serious tone and address issues like divisive political rhetoric and the effects of social media. Keyboardist Blake Bosarge shares the inspiration for these songs, “life hitting you in the face informed some of the material, but we also like to try and mash up our influences like The Police, Sublime and Jimmy Buffett. Throw them in a blender and see what sound comes out.”
Flip Flop Republic threw a raucous album release party at Proof Brewing in late September. The capacity crowd and high energy show at Proof was followed by a strong album release debut topping the iTunes Reggae chart at #1 and on Amazon Reggae Best Sellers at #2. The album continued the strong showing by hanging in the international/world music and hot new reggae releases in the top 25 the month of release on Amazon and Apple platforms. Both albums are available for download and singles will be released monthly to streaming services. Judging by the Proof Brewing concert and quality of the album this is a band to follow and check out live, not only because of good music, but who can pass up a fun show and good time at the beach?
More info at www.theflipfloprepublic.com