Best Of 2008

BEST SURPRISING HOTBED OF MUSIC: Lakeland

The Polk County city best known for being home to Florida Southern College and its collection of Frank Lloyd Wright architecture drew serious attention from the music world two years ago when Christian metalcore act Underoath saw its album Define the Great Line hit No. 2 on the Billboard 200. Underoath’s former Tooth & Nail labelmates, alternative Christian rockers Anberlin, also call Lakeland home and are no strangers to the pop charts. As for repping the indie set, there’s The Dark Romantics, which just dropped its second Lujo Records album, the excellent Heartbreaker, earlier this month and the emo-leaning Copeland, another Polk County act that’s charted its past two albums. Lastly, there’s Rachel Margaret, who has toured with Copeland as a violinist and recorded the demos that would lead to the formation of her commendable indie pop band Pemberley at Copeland frontman Aaron Marsh’s Lakeland recording studio. Yeah, so no more cracks about Polk County being a cultural wasteland. lakelandgov.net