Cigarettes After Sex is more than just a habit, it’s a band that trades in relationships and intimacy. Founded in 2008, but only now releasing their first LP, Cigarettes After Sex have used the time well, developing a mature sound. An initial EP, recorded in a stairway at University of Texas at El Paso, was released in 2012. Relocating to Brooklyn, N.Y., two singles were released in 2015 and 2016.
Their 2015 version of REO Speedwagon’s ‘Keep On Loving You’, turns the original’s bombast on it’s ear, creating a dream pop anthem of the highest order, filling a void that one never knew existed. The first video from their self-titled debut, K., has already logged over two million views on youtube.
Beyond the strains of ambient, slowcore and shoegaze, there’s a melancholy edge to the music of Greg Gonzalez. His voice has a slightly androgynous edge that plays into the Mazzy Star, Red House Painter-ish vibe. Crisp production by Gonzalez and Rocky Gallo makes the lyrics stand out in a way that’s not always heard in gauzy circles. There’s an edge and clarity to the sound.
The jangle pop of ‘Apocalypse’ is paid off with a simple turn of phrase, “Your lips, My lips, Apocalypse.” Yet it’s also one of those telling moments in any relationship. ‘Each Time You Fall In Love’ seems incredibly sparse. Drums and bass to the fore, with keys and guitar pushed way back in the mix, while Gonzalez questions, “Each time you have a dream you never know what it means, You see all that open road & never know which way to go.”
Hazy, intimate and melancholy, the music of Cigarettes After Sex provides a dream excursion into the psyche of Greg Gonzalez. Considering that it does it with a sense of style and grace makes the journey so much more appealing. To paraphrase a very old album, two million youtube fans can’t be wrong!