Release Date: Oct 25, 2019
Record label: Partisan
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock
A shoegaze band for the Instagram generation, the American trio have created a nine-song that conveys a deep sense of yearning, like The xx at their most tender Their staple track 'Nothing's Gonna Hurt You Baby' tells you everything there is to know about Cigarettes After Sex. With barely-there breathy vocals of undying devotion delivered atop the lightest of dream-pop sounds, it set the template for the indie-noir phenomenon that would follow. It was also a slowburner - released in 2012 but taking some years to amass hundreds of millions of streams through crafty licensing, online word of mouth, and being synced to those wanky Youtube fan videos of sunsets or clips from Lost In Translation.
The sleepy, ambient pop of Brooklyn's Cigarettes After Sex found an unexpected flush of viral success in 2016 when the group's already four-year-old song, "Nothing's Gonna Hurt You Baby," started putting up massive eight-digit streaming numbers on YouTube. The project of Texas native Greg Gonzalez, Cigarettes After Sex's noir-ish imagery and languid odes to romantic obsession made them seem like unlikely candidates for such contemporary pop culture peaks, but the song and subsequent 2017 debut album nonetheless found a very receptive audience. Although the band's roots stretch back to 2008, their follow-up, Cry, is only their second full-length release and more or less follows the faded glamor of its predecessor.
It feels almost like a novelty these days for a dude to write an album entirely about being extremely horny. Men don't make music about sex the way they used to. We are far past the epoch of Serge Gainsbourg writing pop songs that involved Jane Birkin or Brigitte Bardot mimicking the sounds of orgasm. People have more or less collectively agreed that rendering women as pure sex objects in music doesn't need to happen so much anymore.
G reg Gonzalez is, evidently, very much a believer in not attempting to fix what isn't broken. It's not just that Cry sounds like the first Cigarettes After Sex album - it sounds like a tribute to the first Cigarettes After Sex album. Lads, have we remembered the whispered, androgynous vocals? Have we got the pace sepulchral? Stop playing chords, dammit, we need spidery guitar lines! Nevertheless, Cigarettes After Sex - if you prefer melody and softness to rhythm and abrasion - are one of the most sonically pleasurable groups of recent years.
With Autumn in full swing, Cigarettes After Sex have blessed us with an album that'll keep us wondering amongst spooky season. Blending a set of nine beautifully melodic tracks, 'Cry' is the keenly-anticipated second release fans have been waiting for. Known for tracks like 'Nothing's Gonna Hurt You Baby' and 'Apocalypse', Cigarettes After Sex have since furthered their sound with more romance, heartache and exploration of sexuality.