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28: December Playlist Additions with HOLMES, LUNA KELLER, BOY OCTOBER & ZARA SMILE...

Despite the year wrapping up to an end, artists are still bubbling away with single releases, including some brilliant additions this week...


LUNA KELLER - Invisible Wars

'unapologetically indie-folk'

📍Cologne, Germany

Hidden in a mystical evergreen forest, surrounded by ethereal spirits and gritty nature, lives Luna Keller's latest single 'Invisible Wars', a spellbinding tale of mental health struggles and hidden battles inside your head. Unapologetically indie-folk, this track is part of a string of singles and music videos leading up to a full concept album in 2024, each portraying different scenes and thoughts of the artist's life. This latest release is a haunting showcase of dark strings, heart-felt muted guitars and angelic vocals - the sweet spot where pop and cinematic orchestras meet. Offering up wrestling emotions in the verses, to uplifting and motivational choruses, the lyrics resonate with anyone who has suffered with depression, a personified demon of destruction in an invisible war. Luna's voice takes the spotlight in the single, presenting both delicate and powerful tones to the artist's extensive vocal capabilities. Heading straight to our 'Mellow Bops' playlist, this melancholic yet mysterious track is the perfect soundtrack for frosty evenings drowned in emotion. Released on 30th November 2023.

HOLMES - The Wait

'the perfect hit of indie-pop you need this winter'

📍Guildford, UK

Storming into our 'Fresh Finds' playlist, HOLMES' debut EP 'The Wait' is the perfect hit of indie-pop you need this winter. Soaring through the infectiously shimmery 'If It Was up to Me', the intimate ballad 'Call Me' and the attitude-infused 'Never Learning' and 'Love Me Not Him', we are taken through the euphoric sounds of HOLMES' artistry, complete with guitar-driven arrangements and euphoric synths to accompany the coming-of-age stories that the EP portrays. Strong vocals, flawless production and energy-filled melodies are showcased throughout, with a breath-taking moment of intimacy in the acoustic version at the end of the journey. Whether wrapped up in electronics and effects, or stripped back to the bare bones of the songs, HOLMES' vocals are the forefront to all of his works, with effortless capabilities to catch the listeners ear straight away with a clean and chart-ready tone. Hailing from Guildford, the artist is mainstream-set in all aspects of his work, and would fit perfectly into your Catfish and the Bottlemen/Sam Fender/Dermot Kennedy playlists. Released on 17th November 2023.

Boy October - LFL

'a contrast of explosive energy and sultry grooves'

📍West Midlands, UK

Bahamas born, West Midlands based rapper, singer, songwriter, record producer, and creative director Boy October is back with a fiery track 'LFL' this week, and is a perfect introduction to the artist if you haven't been introduced to him yet. Backed by BBC Introducing West Midlands, the artist has an extensive background in live gigs and festivals, and this single release is his latest project. Short for 'Lust for Life', the RnB rap hybrid track is a contrast of explosive energy and sultry grooves, all in the name of pursuing personal ambitions. The glistening production puts this track right into the modern-day scene, but with nods to nostalgic genres and artists, it's clear that Boy October has a long-lasting passion for his craft. Effortlessly flitting from rhythmically intricate rapped verses, to a soulful vocal entry in the choruses, Boy October's voice is showcased to perfection in 'LFL', with soul-hitting sub bass and bubbling synths to make it an ideal soundtrack for a late night city drive. Released on 30th November 2023.

zara smile - Spotlight

'a reflective alt-folk track written around the struggles of navigating society'

📍Liverpool/London, UK

The fourth single from zara smile, 'Spotlight' is a reflective alt-folk track written around the struggles of navigating society whilst being torn between two cultures growing up. As a queer Pakistani British artist, 'Spotlight' portrays the battles of Zara's life with it's contrasting instrumentation, emotionally-driven vocals and introverted lyrics, crafted to perfection in a bubble of questions and frustration. As a well known name in the Liverpool and London music scenes, this latest release from Zara is a personal deep-dive into the thoughts of the artist, wearing their heart on their sleeve and unashamed to share experiences in order to start discussions and question how our society runs. Pent-up resentment builds into an ever-expanding ending in this song, with layers of tugging-at-the-heart-string vocals and anthemic drums, contrasting to the delicate folk-style beginnings of the track. For anyone struggling to find where they belong in the world, reside in Zara's 'Spotlight' for a comforting reassurance. Released on 24th November 2023.


As always, check out all of our Local & Live Media Playlists to get the latest tunes on our radar...

by Meg Shaw, Local & Live Media

Review No. 28

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