Seatbelts – Sinful City (2020)

Seatbelts is the other musical outing for Hooton Tennis Club’s James Madden and Ryan Murphy. Along with Abigail Woods and Alex Quinn, the four-piece released their first EP in 2018 as a tribute to Kurt Vonnegut. Their latest single ‘Sinful City’ continues to touch on the themes of their previous work.

The single looks at capitalism, escapism and modernisation through a driving beat and unrelenting loops. The track delves into how our sense of self is influenced by the temptations that are abundant in a modern city. Accompanying the release is a music video using stock footage from daytime TV advertising and 90s YouTube memes.



‘Sinful City’ gets you into the track with a minimalist opening that transitions into Madden’s mellow vocals. The use of horns in the track adds a little something to the melody and helps the beat drive you forward. There is an interesting change in the music that places you in a dream-pop soundscape. However, just as you are getting used to this new tone, it is snatched away from you throwing you back into the beat and horns.

Madden’s vocal performance while mellow has an urgency to it. This highlights the lyrics that are full of internal drama. The lyrics swing between a look at the life of people in the city and the last attempt of getting clarity while in this situation.

Seatbelts take you on a lyrical and musical journey in ‘Sinful City’ throwing you from despair to a dreamy pop soundscape. The single looks at some heavy themes using horns, a driving beat, mellow vocals and lyrics full of drama.

Find out more about Seatbelts on their Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Spotify.

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