Is Vincent Sinex a pseudonym?
It may be hard to convince you otherwise after listening to Wild Places, Sinex's upcoming new solo album as The Late Innings, out Sept. 6th. The Los Angeles native's music sounds like his name. It rides that edge of time when the late 1970s became the early 1980s. When pop became new wave. When AM became FM.
“I have been recording since my early 20's when I first got a four-track cassette recorder, a couple of guitars and a drum machine,” Sinex says. “I was inspired by the performances in the 1982 concert film 'Urgh! A Music War,' which captured of the energy, intensity, and diverse sounds of 80's new wave bands. When I saw groups like XTC, Magazine, and Echo and The Bunnymen in that film, it made me want to pick up a guitar and try to make that kind of music myself.”
Based on those incredible influences, Sinex went on to teach himself some recording basics, knock out a few cover tunes, write and record some songs of his own, and ultimately form a short-lived band. Then, a ten-year detour into a more institutional type of education followed, earning Sinex a Master's degree in Computer Science, but keeping him from music, and the march of technology.
“Once I had my degree, I returned to working on music, but technology had changed a lot,” he remembers. “Even though I had new gear, I initially struggled to write any new material.”
The dedicated science student that he is, Sinex decided to take an analytical approach to writer's block.
“I had to teach myself the craft of song construction, so I got a bunch of songbooks by people I admired, and I started studying how their songs were put together,” he explains. This exercise led Sinex out of his slump and to the writing and recording of his debut album Arrived and Departed, released in 2015.
For Wild Places, Sinex performs everything you'll hear, including the meticulously layered background vocals. The album explores themes that are particular to today's cultural challenges, mostly relating to privacy in a society where almost nothing is private anymore.
“Our Secret,” the first single from Wild Places, illustrates this idea with lyrics directly inspired by a story from Sinex’s life. The song sounds straight out of the era of high-waisted pants, even higher hair, and Day-Glo-decorated keytars, but the message is darker.
“I think of this track less like a ‘song of the summer’ and more like a ‘song of the bummer,” Sinex half-jokes.
The song is about a guy who returns to his favorite vacation spot, only to find that it is now overrun by tourists.
Sinex recalls, “We went to a beach that seemingly no one knew about, and we had the whole place to ourselves that afternoon. After that trip, I thought, ‘The next time I want to go back there, will it still be a secret, especially since in the age of social media, nothing is a secret anymore?”
Well, almost nothing. Because if Vincent Sinex really is a pseudonym, that secret is still safe.
Wild Places, the latest album by The Late Innings arrives on Sept. 6th, preceded by the single “Our Secret”.