We review the latest single from James Burt – Sing That Song

Chesterfield’s James Burt makes a sparkling synth-laden return with latest release ‘Sing That Song’ this month.

After 2021’s electropop-flavoured single ‘Heartbreak High’ – the 23-year-old artist once again taps into that retro 80s synthwave aesthetic adopted by many modern acts like The Weeknd, The Midnight, The 1975, Kavinsky and also seen in film à la ‘Drive’ and ‘Stranger Things’.

By embracing a nostalgia for the 1980s, Burt attempts to capture the era’s atmosphere and this is characterised by the use of striking synth riffs, punchy gated-reverb drumbeats and a particularly flashy electric guitar solo around the 2.10 mark.

It’s true, ‘Sing That Song’ could be pulled straight from the soundtrack of a John Hughes-esque flick. A Brat-Pack-coming-of-age romance more than likely starring Andrew McCarthy falling for a girl from the wrong side of the tracks… or maybe a shop mannequin. Either way, it fits right into that genre perfectly. Details like the heartbeat percussion around 1.35 mark and the use of stacked backing vocals to create a choir-like effect towards the end add to the track’s cinematic vibe.

And if ‘Heartbreak High’ was the heartache, ‘Sing That Song’ is the desire. Burt’s lyrics mix the melancholic and romantic as he sings of a former lover and the desperation in trying to win them back. “The sun sets on a velvet sky / I feel alone when you’re on my mind / I love the sound of the way you sing that song”

Tender lyricism calls for sentimental vocals and the artist provides this with a soft, deep crooning delivery verging on ‘whisperpop’ in places. From the almost tentative verses to the increasingly catchy chorus – Burt’s emotion shivers throughout.

A track sure to stick in your head, ‘Sing That Song’ pays homage to the neon-drenched decade. Rather than “dated” or “throwback”, Burt’s sound evokes a sense of nostalgia for a time before his own.