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Wild Pink, 'Florida'

There is a specific sort of kinship between fellow Floridians, especially ones who've fled the state for far-flung places. Put enough of us in a conversation and we'll inevitably bemoan and commiserate (and probably swap Publix stories, too). But, for so many of us, there's an undeniable underlying beauty that keeps us coming back home — if not physically, at least emotionally.

Wild Pink's John Ross is one of us: raised in Florida, he now calls upstate New York home. And though there have always been references to the Sunshine State across his catalog, he's never been as explicit as he is on the new standalone track "Florida," which he calls a love letter to the state. Like its namesake and subject, it's sweeping and sprawling, with gentle drum brushes and pedal steel marking time's passage. Built around a piano loop composed after time away from music during lockdown, "Florida" has an undulating energy like an unfurling landscape.

While there's certainly art that extols Florida's beauty and endless memes that make light of the state's unrivaled weirdness, it's rare to hear something that understands its duality — chain restaurant margaritas, but also the way the water can feel haunted by memory. "Florida" manages to articulate the genuine pull a place, however flawed, can have on you.

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