Album Review: Sincerely, Iris – Love in a Time of Disaster

Sincerely, Iris is the performing name of American singer songwriter Todd Murray. He describes his genre as “road trip music”, combining elements of country, rock and folk, modern and traditional. He’s just released his fifth album as Sincerely, Iris. It’s called Love In a Time of Disaster.

By Graeme Smith

Todd made his own four-string electric guitar from an old Ohio license plate, and that’s the kind of rustic you get from Love In a Time of Disaster. From its first few bars the stage is set, with a cantering drumbeat and characterful slide guitar. Opening track It’s Coming Back to Get You Now has an instantly earworm melody over which Todd’s charismatic vocals are poured. It’s such a strong start.

Love on the Screen takes things a lively rock direction, and talks of love in the era of dating apps. It’s All Coming Down captures the spirit of the album well, written during Covid lockdown. There’s a touch of world-weariness about it, but also a bright optimism. It’s a highlight.

Low as I Ever Want to Feel ups the tempo with a driving, blues rock arrangement before I’m Not Saying It’s Love lightens the mood with a romantic and nostalgic pop moment. Thorns takes us back into country with its atmospheric arrangement and folksy lyrics. It’s another highlight.

Who I am Today is a biting piece of throwback folk rock while Carry the Fire smoulders with a restrained energy and killer riff. After a breakdown it hits a lively, rousing crescendo. Trouble opens delicately acoustic before hitting a soaring, ’90s-rock-esque groove. Home rounds off the album with an intimate and vulnerable final chapter.

In a saturated music industry, it’s difficult to stand out, yet that’s exactly what Todd is managing to do with Sincerely, Iris. He takes a blend of familiar genres and redefines them. With this new album, he’s pushing his distinct sound even further and Love in a Time of Disaster is a triumph.

Love in a Time of Disaster features Chip Hale on bass and Jon Chadwick on drums. You can check it out below.