Music Review: Heart to Break by Ria Hanley

Words by: Tom Jackson
Photos by: Katie Milner

The third single from South Coast singer/songwriter Ria Hanley is a gear shift from her previous work and beautifully showcases a side to her that we haven’t seen before. Heart to Break brings out a more vulnerable, emotional Ria with honest lyrics paired with a stripped-back instrumental that together hit you right in the feels.

The song, released in late 2023, started life as a love song but through the writing process morphed into a breakup ballad. What really stands out is that despite the track being a departure from her usual uplifting, empowering sound Heart to Break is still quintessentially Ria with crisp guitar parts that have that little sprinkle of country that really makes them stand out in the best way possible.

The lyrics tap into that very real topsy-turvy feeling you get when you fully open up to someone. Lines like ‘You know all of me, and there’s a lot to know’ stand out particularly and are what makes the song infinitely relatable. Is it a cry-in-the-car song? Absolutely — and I wouldn’t have it any other way. It’s been incredible to watch Ria grow over the past few years and I cannot wait to see what she does next.

Heart to Break is out now and available on all major streaming platforms.