Local Spotlight | 3 New Songs by Jax Artists Out Now

Dean Winter and The Heat, Mecca thA Marvelous and Pilar

Press Photo collage Dean Winter and the Heat, Mecca tha Marvelous, Pilar
Credit: (From left) Dean Winter and the Heat press photograph by Jesse Brantman, Mecca thA Marvelous by @904flicks, Pilar courtesy of 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 three new songs by local artists that we think you’ll dig.

Let’s dive in.

“3AM in Wynwood” by Mecca thA Marvelous 

Jax producer and rapper Mecca thA Marvelous’ “3AM in Wynwood” is a swift lyrical swipe at both his fans and doubters. Mecca fiercely swings through local producer L.E.R.M’s mix touting his standing amongst the best in Duval hip-hop. A fire of his own making, the multi-talented Mecca recorded, mixed, and mastered the track on his own — a not-so-subtle flex, to be sure.–Al Pete

-Stream “3AM in Wynwood


“Samurai Song” by Pilar

If there is a band indicative of the depth of the Northeast Florida talent pool, it is surely Pilar. Formed some 15-years ago and sustained ever since by pianist-vocalist Pilar Arevalo, the Riverside-based band have been releasing consistently quality and engaging music. Their most recent single, “Samurai Song” is no exception. Joined by her longtime core lineup—guitarist Brian Jerin; bass guitarist Chris Gibbs; drummer Jared Chase Bowser — the six-minute “Samurai Song” is “indie” only due to the ineffable, fickle and ultimately questionable radar of what becomes popular in contemporary music. Whether through strategy, publicity or providence, the song should be heard streaming to a wider audience; and deservedly so. A de facto anthem of surrender and defeat, narrated over a rhythmic bedrock of bass and drums, a savvy-and-melodic hide-and-seek of piano and guitar; all woven together by Pilar’s ethereal vocals that mourn the expiration date of lovers who “have lasted too long.” The micro-epic production is punctuated and resolved by a furiously elegiac outro, where the band is joined by trumpeter Marcus Parsley. With “Samurai Song,” Pilar and band keep the bar high for regional music, maintaining their sound and reputation as stellar musicians who continue to offer invigorating music to a potentially larger audience that can at times seem both vast and vastly disengaged.–Daniel A. Brown 

-Stream “Samurai Song


“Up and Break” by Dean Winter and The Heat

Jax country outfit Dean Winter and The Heat have proven they’ve got the chops to play the kind of rhythm-forward Americana that can light up even the most smoke-hazed and dimly lit dive bar. On “Up and Break,” a single from the band’s new full-length Wheel Of Bliss (out July 1), the quartet explores the space between those revelrous Friday nights. Winter casually runs through a laundry list of platitudes — dance with the one who brought you, don’t bite the hand that feeds you, make time to call your mama, get right with your brother, learn to bend before you “up and” break — before intoning, “take a little advice from yourself before it’s too late.” Between the band’s stellar performance and a memorable hook that winks at country music’s tendency to equate cliché with refrain, “Up and Break” is yet more proof that Dean Winter and The Heat have achieved mastery in their chosen field.–Matthew Shaw

-Stream “Up and Break

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