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James Burt – Heartbreak High

There really is just something about that 80s-flavoured electropop sound and breakups that works so well y’know? Think tunes from The 1975, Larkins and LANY. ‘Heartbreak High’ – the new single from James Burt – is no exception. 

The rising 22-year-old musician, who is somewhat of a new face on the scene, released his first tracks ‘Something Inside Me’ and ‘Dance in the Rain’ last year to favorable reviews.

Burt’s latest offering ‘Heartbreak High’ retains (yet builds on) that familiar sound from his previous releases. Written and recorded at home during lockdown, it’s 3 minutes of pure melodic heartache. A punchy reverb-soaked drumbeat backs the track throughout, complete with lightly sparkling guitar riffs, synthy highlights and a funky beat.  

Heartbreak is a relatable theme for most people – but Burt’s lyrics deal specifically with wising up to the cheating behaviour of a lover and realising that they’re just not good for you. With a very catchy chorus, Burt’s sweet layered vocals are laced with the raw emotion as he sees the signs and takes back control of his life.
“You need a heartbreak high / You try to tell me lies / And it’s such a waste of time”

The echoing refrain of “Don’t try those games on me”  in particular gives us that empowering-yet-bittersweet-breakup-pop reminiscent of Taylor Swift’s work. And while the track bears no connection to my favourite 90s Australian teen drama of the same name – Burt is still certainly one to watch.