Reviewed by: Lauren Rosier
In 2012, ambient pop four-piece, Cigarettes After Sex, released their first EP, I. Over the last few years the gossip around that EP has increased and has helped them move into a new place in their career. Founder of the band, Greg Gonzalez, had just recorded the EP in a stairwell of his Alma Mater, University of Texas El Paso, and captured that ambient pop sound well.
Following a move to Brooklyn and signing to Partisan Records, Cigarettes After Sex was able to start work on their debut LP, out today.
On the debut, the four-piece, comprised of Gonzalez (guitar/vocals), Phillip Tubbs (synths), Randy Miller (bass), and Jacob Tomsky (drums), delivers a beautiful collection of ambient dream pop, sticking to what’s created the excitement thus far.
The band opens the song “K.” that features dreamy, yet haunting melodies from the strum of reverb-soaked guitars. This general sound has proven successful and so is continued through the remainder of the album layered over Gonzalez’s wispy vocals.
One thing you can bet on is that there’s no shortage of love songs on this record. Gonzalez references his personal romantic experiences on the record resulting in a beautiful collection of solid love songs.
The track, “Each Time You Fall In Love”, is a musical memoir that depicts how each time he falls in love, he’s never completely satisfied, always looking for something more and not truly seeing his significant other.
The downtempo simplicity on songs like “Apocalypse” and “Flash” feature reverb-drenched guitars and wispy vocals, similar to Baltimore band, Beach House.
The track, “Sweet”, is a beautiful and elegant song where Gonzalez sings about a significant other and his love for them. “It’s so sweet/knowing that you love me/though we don’t need to say/it to each other sweet/knowing that I love you/running your fingers through your hair/it’s so sweet…”
Gonzalez and Cigarettes After Sex have created a well-crafted debut LP through its ambient pop, emotionally raw lyricism, and honesty. I am curious to see how the quartet is able to evolve after the release of this record in regards to the band’s sound and lyricism. There is no doubt, however, that this record will catapult this band into the spotlight.