WEB RUMOURS – New Wave Heartache

adrift in an endless sea…

Although it might sound a strange combination, the new release from Web Rumors brings to mind OMD meets Austra. There’s a warmth at work in the electronic foundations of ‘New Wave Heartache’ which is augmented by the bittersweet vocals of Em Burrows. Meanwhile, elements of baroque pop lurk in an accomplished composition which oozes style and a polished sensibility.

Based in Perth, Western Australia, Em Burrows originally released her debut album Audio Video Disco under the Web Rumors moniker back in 2019. This was a follow-on from Burrows’ solo debut, 2018’s Invisible Seams, which helped to consolidate the alternative pop composer’s credentials. Burrows is a WAMi nominated artist (Best Keys/Synth Artist 2020) and was the recipient of an NLMA for All Ages Achievement in 2019.


‘New Wave Heartache’ combines organic and electronic instrumentation that seems to throw a nod back to the art rock outings of the 1980s. Roxy Music is cited as a particular influence, although there’s something also reminiscent of Martha and the Muffins in the composition’s DNA.

Lyrically, the song started as a riff on the German phrase “alt romantisch” (old romantic). “It’s about being an “old” romantic in a “new” world” comments Burrows, “that idea of a dreamer grappling with the realities of modern life.”.

The end result is a smart, contemplative tune. Warm synths mesh with guitar alongside some shrewd sax fills, delivering a wistful number matched by Burrows’ yearning vocals (“New wave heartache, is this a date or sensitive intuition?”).

‘New Wave Heartache’ heralds Web Rumors’ sophomore album release New Tricks which is due out in June.


‘New Wave Heartache’ is out now.

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Paul Browne