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Updated: Nov 28, 2023

How are we at mid-November already?! This weekend has seen a HUGE handful of releases on our Local & Live Media radar, so we thought we'd get cracking with exploring the latest tunes from our new favourite artists who've all earned themselves on our playlists this week...


Ria Hanley - Heart to Break

'she offers up her world on a rose-plated platter of soaring chorus melodies and deeply-rooted lyrics'

📍Southampton/Liverpool, UK

Earning her rightful place on our 'Mellow Bops' playlist, Ria Hanley is back with the magical 'Heart to Break' - a vulnerable entry of handing your heart over to new love, with all the power and sacrifice that it holds. The third of Ria's releases so far, this lyric-heavy country-pop track is the perfect delicate addition to her discography, following on from the explosive 'Hell for Leather' and the infectious 'Bite Back'. Highlighting the extent of Ria's writing even further, she offers up her world on a rose-plated platter of soaring chorus melodies and deeply-rooted lyrics, faultlessly complimented by trembling tremolo guitar and soul-warming piano. The contrast of the comforting overall sound of the track, with the instability in the guitar trembles and intimate outro, adds to the uncertainty in the song's theme: trying to trust someone with your love. An ever-confusing and soul-bearing situation, wrapped up in the familiarity of country sensibilities and pop accessibility. Released on 17th November 2023.

Lydia Rowlands - The Names That They Gave Us

'a nostalgic journey through time'

📍Liverpool, UK

Another Liverpool-based 'Mellow Bops' addition comes in Lydia Rowlands' 'The Names That They Gave Us', a reflective re-issue of a track originally released when they were 16 and coming to terms with the world. From a distressed present situation, to what now is a look-back on a confusing childhood, this indie-folk track is a nostalgic journey through time, with all the pain and regret that it comes with. Listening to the track alone is emotional enough, but when reading the backstory of this reimagined Lydia classic, it makes your heart sink deeper into the lyrics, and your body drown in warming strings and cinematic soundscapes. Lydia always has the ability to bring fans into their world, with beautifully crafted piano and a rippling guitar to bring out the storytelling even further. A true credit to Lydia's vocal performance and effortless capabilities of capturing a moment in time, 'The Names That They Gave Us' is the perfect soundtrack to your 5 minute journal-writing time out. Released on 17th November 2023.

Xy Bird - Had No Words

'hints of neo-soul and a dash of retro-pop, all laid out on a bed of lo-fi indie production'

📍London, UK

The brain-child of Andrew (guitarist/producer) and Daisy (vocalist), 'Had No Words' is this week's first addition to our 'Nothing but Groove' playlist, encapsulating all the genres that this playlist stands for in a style-blending 3 minute experience. Hints of neo-soul and a dash of retro-pop, all laid out on a bed of lo-fi indie production to give your ears the perfect experience of Xy Bird's work. Written around the frustrations of not being able to get the right words out, you feel safe and understanded when listening to this track, the extensive wave of vocals protecting you from the groove-driven bass line and face-melting guitar tone in the latter section of the tune. The soulful lead vocals carry you through this track, with subtle references to late 90s hip-hop and RnB to give you a nostalgic reminder of the sounds that shape today's music. Despite being written around annoyance and lack of communication, the blend of familiar styles and calming harmonic content make you feel relaxed and laid-back when listening, a lounge-esque presentation with the perfect amount of edge to keep you bopping along as you listen. Released on 10th November 2023.

common goldfish - Tottenham Ritzy

'oozing rave culture and colourful tracksuits'

📍Tottenham, UK

The second of this week's 'Nothing but Groove' playlist, common goldfish have hit our ear canals with an old-school dance track reminiscent of 80s and 90s classics, entitled 'Tottenham Ritzy'. Oozing rave culture and colourful tracksuits, you're transported to the vibrant underground world of North London's music scene; the ever-grooving percussion feeding your body with the energy it needs to dance yourself silly. Paired with a VHS-filmed music video highlighting the areas most-loved venues, the heart-breaking reality hits when watching: the feeling this track gives is becoming less common due to the closures of music venues. You crave the sense of community and happiness that these sweaty-ceiling caverns hold in their history when listening to the funk-infused bass and dance-driven piano lines, the lyrics taking you even further into the want for freedom, and a quite simply - a great night out. Diving deeper into a call for action in the current state of the UKs music venue closures, this release from common goldfish is so much more than just a dance track. Released on 16th November 2023.

Melissa Fear - Heavy 'dripping attitude, heart-break and tear-smudged eyeliner'

📍Bristol, UK

Storming head-first into our 'Fresh Finds' playlist, Melissa Fear released her debut single this week with 'HEAVY' - a mesmirising dark-pop track dripping attitude, heart-break and tear-smudged eyeliner. The DIY-approach at the forefront of the production for this track, Fear's undeniable capabilities of bringing moody visuals to life smash through the pristine glass-window of modern pop music, blurring the lines between artist and producer. Mixing alt-pop, electro-synths and rock traits into her cauldron of smoke and potions, 'HEAVY' is the artist's first dip into single releases, after years of experience on the live scene across the UK. Exposing the self-realisation feeling you get when stepping out of a relationship, the vulnerability of the lyrics are sharpened with arena-filling drums, demonic vocal effects and whirlwind synths, whilst the vocals extend the emotion behind the melodies. If this is only the start for Fear, then strap-in and prepare yourselves for a wild ride. Released on 17th November 2023.


Would you look at that: a huge array of genres on display, all from Local & Live approved artists! There's a track for every occasion, so go and indulge in our three playlists on Spotify to find the perfect soundtrack to your day.

by Meg Shaw, Local & Live Media

Review No. 19

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