New Sincerity Works are a group who have spent years rooted in the music industry, whether it has been playing live or spending time in studios, this is a selection of musicians who know their way around a song, and they aren’t afraid to show it on their latest release, Wonder Lust.
From the shout-out to The Jam on “Just Like Vapour” to a good ol’ Monkees reference on “Love to Love the Love”, New Sincerity Works drop enough music world references into their songs to make you realize that you’re probably missing most of them. But don’t be deceived by their awareness of their influences, this is a band that also wholeheartedly embraces who they are and where they come from. Just listen to the way the synths weave dreamily around “Midwest Reverie” and create a sense of love for their home base, Cincinnati, Ohio. “This is for what we were. This is for what we’ll be. Remember me, always,” Mike Tittel declares on “Find A Way Home”, an album highlight that strikes a strong balance between psychedelic influences and a 90s rawness that evokes The Replacements.
Finding balance is one of New Sincerity Works’ strengths. It’s in the beauty that resides in the space between joyousness and melancholy that permeates “I’ve Got You” and pops up again on “The Company We Keep”, which begins with an atmospheric darkness that rises to become something soaring and emotionally refreshed. “Wonder Lust” holds the synths back and instead breaks away in the last moment for a surprisingly personal and close moment: “No wonder why, when you’re mine, when you’re here. When you’re gone, you’re not mine,” Tittel realizes, encapsulating the catchiness and heartbreak of the song.
Wonder Lust ends wisely with a duet that brings out the soul of the band, referencing Kentucky and Tennessee, and growing as it goes. “Hearts Transplanted” ties the many elements of the album together while pushing in its own direction. A lovely end to a lovely record that knows exactly what it needs to be.