New Sincerity Works recently dropped Wonder Lust, a full-length album comprising 10 songs about love. As singer-songwriter/guitarist/drummer Mike Tittel explains, “I wrote the songs to accompany a book of personal photographs. The book never happened but I did get a record out of the whole project. I liked the idea of trying to describe what falling in and out of love is like and what happens in between those extreme modes of living. It’s a record about love but not really love songs.”
Formed by Tittel in 2014, New Sincerity features Tittel, who sings, plays guitar and keyboards, as well as drums; Roger Klug plays guitar and adds vocals; Lauren Bray plays keyboards and sings; Greg Tudor plays drums, pedal steel, and sings; Bob Nyswonger plays bass and sings; and Mike Landis plays guitar and keyboards.
New Sincerity Works’ sound amalgamates alt-rock and guitar pop with flavors of psychedelia, resulting in familiar, yet vigorous music that’s inventive and crisply contagious.
“I’ve Got You” opens with streaming, stuttering synths, followed by bright spangling guitars and Tittel’s delicious voice, which is drawling and reedy at the same time. The rhythm pulses with infectious dynamics, flowing and glowing with sonic layers. Lustrous vocal harmonies complement the surge of the alt-rock melodic passages. “Just Like Vapor” starts off with punk-like chords which segue into classic rock-style harmonized guitar riffs followed by British-esque indie rock melodies that are rife with scintillating colors. A fuzzed-out guitar solo injects the tune with white-hot heat.
Boiling, Sizzling Alt-Rock
“Love to Love the Love” rides a ramped-up alt-rock melody shimmering with thrumming, coruscating guitars. The layered harmonics infuse the song with incandescent energy. “Midwest Reverie” begins with subdued guitars and a throbbing bassline. There’s a psychedelic prog-rock feel to the tune, especially when it ascends with frenetic waves of sound. “Without Us” rides an energetic humming surge of guitars that escalate to buffed-out dirty dominance akin to proto-punk, but it’s not. Instead, it’s boiling, sizzling, righteous alt-rock.
“Find a Way Home” delivers dark tones and pummeling drums on a (slightly) bluesy alt-rock melody. Heavy guitar chords rumble and vibrate with dirty discharges of oomph. The vocals, dreamy and puissant, complement the drive and momentum of the music. “The Company We Keep” features a growling, rolling intro, followed by an aching melody full of psychedelic accents from the synths.
The title track rides a moussed up SoCal rock melody with hints of southern rock threading through it. I love the jangly guitars and booming bassline too. There’s a twang to Tittel’s voice that’s simply divine, kind of cowboy, and kind of pop star. Bright vocal harmonies suffuse the lyrics with beneficent hues of dazzling pigments.
“To Be Kissed Like That” rides a country rock-flavored rhythm with an easy, good-old-boy feel.
“Hearts Transplanted” opens with soft, sparkling guitars and then bumps it up to a galvanizing alt-rock melody rippling with sprays of cogent guitars coalescing into a surging wave of gorgeous harmonics.
All I can say is, “Wowee!” I really like this album. The melodies are fresh and potently layered, while the rhythms sway with compelling dynamism. Tittel’s voice provides an easy listening experience, as well as just the right amount of persuasive passion. Wonder Lust is superb.