Who is Vincent Sinex?
The man who carries that mantle is a Los Angeles musician who specializes in a brilliant blend of synth-pop and indie rock instincts, a sound as elusive as it is compelling. And under the moniker of The Late Innings, Sinex creates this noise as a way to explore the lines connecting the glistening AM radio pop of the late ‘70s to the shivering synth atmospheres of new wave.
“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 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.”
In the aftermath of this musical awakening, he taught himself the basics of recording and began performing covers songs before moving to original material and forming a band -- although the group was short-lived and disbanded relatively quickly. He then took a ten-year hiatus from music, focusing instead on more secular pursuits, earning a Master’s degree in Computer Science.
However, once he returned to music, he discovered that a particularly resistant strain of writer’s block was keeping him from immediately digging back into the sounds which he loved. Determined not to concede to this insidious suppression, he decided to take an analytical approach to understanding and encouraging his creativity. “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. The effort resulted in the songs which would come to form the basis of his 2015 debut LP, “Arrived and Departed.”
In the intervening years, he continued to refine and adapt these new wave/pop compulsions, developing a balance between his familiar influences and the impulsive ways in which he expresses this innate melody-driven perspective. His work comes to fruition on his forthcoming record, “Wild Places,” which finds him careening through spirited synth soundscapes while reveling in an intense pop euphoria. The album is due out Sept. 6.
On recent single, “Tonight,” he builds a considerable pop weight from a wide range of inspirations, rummaging through such influences as REM, Devo and England Dan and John Ford Coley. From the opening sax line, you get the feeling that the song isn’t going to care about genre convention or our own expectations. Excitable jangle pop guitars echo alongside waves of trembling synths while a thumping bassline slithers up the vertebrate in your spine. It’s a welcome blast of new wave nostalgia, DIY college rock unconformity and synth-pop elation.
"'Tonight' is a song about being willing to exposing your secrets,” explains Sinex. “In it, a reclusive film director, lured out of seclusion to receive a lifetime achievement award in front of a room full of Hollywood luminaries (and a giant television audience at home) throws away his prepared speech, and instead pours out his heart to tell a story about a lost love: a woman has recently come into his life, and he unexpectedly fell in love with her, but he ruined the relationship because he was taken aback by her openness. Now that she’s out of his life, he feels the only way to get her back is to be just as open, on the largest stage in front of an international television audience.”
He continues: “In this song, I wanted to get at the heart of the idea that it’s hard to both maintain your privacy and let people into your life at the same time, and that once you expose your secrets to others, you have little or no control over what happens to them. On the other hand, if you hold onto your personal privacy very tightly, you might also deny yourself the richness of relationships with others (especially romantic relationships)."