Local Spotlight | 4 new songs by Jax artists out now

New music from Jax-based acts Dean Winter and the Heat, Andy Zipf, Shane Malone and Violette Lani

Press photographs of Andy Zipf, Dean WInter and the Heat, Shane Malone and Violette Lani
Credit: (From left) Andy Zipf press photograph provided by the artist, Dean Winter and the Heat press photograph by Jesse Brantman, Shane Malone press photograph provided by the artist, Violette Lani press photograph provided by the artist

We’re always keeping our ear to the ground in order to put the spotlight on the beautiful noise emerging from Northeast Florida. This week, Jacksonville Music Experience contributors share four new songs by local artists that we think you’ll really dig.

Let’s dive in.

“Can’t Escape the Rain” by Dean Winter and the Heat

The latest from Jacksonville country rockers Dean Winter and the Heat is a stormy paean to hammering out better days during a string of bad nights. Building on the success of their 2020 EP Pay Dirt, and their recent tune “Right on Track,” Dean Winter and the Heat have enough savvy to know that the best honky-tonk fire is sometimes delivered through a slow burn. “Can’t Escape the Rain” is no exception: through the course of the song’s four minutes, the band trades off pedal steel and piano riffs and helps direct Winter’s story of rain coming down “like a snare drum on this town” and leaving regrets in the rearview mirror.–Daniel A. Brown 

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“Did You Know I Was a Ghost?” by Andy Zipf

“Did You Know I Was a Ghost?” is both the first line and the title of the new tune by Jacksonville singer-songwriter Andy Zipf. It’s also the first single from a forthcoming full-length, How to Make a Paper Airplane (due out in April), an album four years in the making. Through life-changes and an open-ended global pandemic, Zipf tracked his parts during what he calls “stolen hours” and “on borrowed microphones,” the possibility of a new record hanging over the artist like a specter. Ringing with colorful imagery, Zipf’s delicately delivered vocals (“Did you hear that snap? / That crackin twig? / Well, I was out back creepin then I tripped / on a couple of rocks and a garden gnome / this used to be the place that I called home”) float above the sparse instrumentation –– acoustic guitar figures, piano twinkles and the subdued ambience of an organ –– on “Did You Know I Was A Ghost?” It’s a pleasant offering, and, as it pertains to the Zipf’s forthcoming record (his tenth!), not likely to be an apparition.–Matthew Shaw

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“What Have I Become” by Violette Lani 

Early in her single “What Have I Become,” 15-year-old Jacksonville musician Violette Lani sings “You told me I wasn’t bold,” playfully bending the word bold to her will like a sarcastic wink toward a spurned love interest. It’s just one of many delightful surprises on “What Have I Become,” which the young artist wrote and self-produced. The song, grounded by Lani’s acoustic guitar strums and sprinkled with digital ambience, is elevated to the pop stratosphere by Lani’s deft vocal delivery –– a showcase not only of the young artist’s broad range, but her willingness to experiment with melody.–Matthew Shaw 

-Stream on Apple Music

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-Stream on Spotify


“Waiting” by Shane Malone, Sprig

Two East Coast indie rockers, Jax-by-way-of-Gainesville singer-songwriter Shane Malone and NC-based artist Sprig, swap war stories, commiserating aboard a lo-fi, chorus-guitar-effect laden, downtempo rollercoaster called “Waiting.” On a collaboration that came together via voice memos, the duo explores the pitfalls of young love in the digital age on a duet of inner monologues. “So I sit at home scrolling on my phone / looking at pictures of you… I’m tired of waiting / It’s my own time I’m wasting,” Sprig sings on “Waiting.” Though both are seemingly immobilized by romantic confusion, the self-awareness of the duo’s lyrics and the sunny soundscape soften the blow of the punishing (broadly relatable) heartache expressed on the track.–Matthew Shaw

-Stream on Apple Music

-Stream on Tidal

-Stream on Spotify

Dig in to the best new music from local, regional, national and international artists on our monthly Fresh Squeeze playlist.

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