A fog machine slowly belching white clouds of smoke. A video of a melancholic overcast beachhead adorned by sparse lewd lyrics. A crowd of young people cooing and rocking themselves and their partners into a somnambulant sway of emotion. Possibly the vanguard of a genre still exploring its outer limits, chillwave indie band Cigarettes After Sex somehow brings together a dazzling romantic and atmospheric dreamscape with a darkly charming millennial brash: a 2am lullaby sliding into your DMs. More than just a sleepy shoegaze/dream-pop quartet, singer Greg Gonzalez infuses his hold-me-closer lovey-dovey lyrics with a sense of impermanence, anguish and crass, navigating the tricky new universe of modern dating. With lyrics like, “Truly, know that you really don’t need/To be in love to make love to me…” on their song “Truly,” or “…You know that I’m obsessed with your body/but it’s the way you smile that does it for me…” on “Sweet,” there is a perplexing “Every Breath You Take”-esque conundrum going on here. With a lovelorn angst-meets-hormonal lasciviousness in every song, the audience is asked: is the driving motivation hopeless passion? Abusive obsession? Clinical ennui? An existential fear of dying alone? No matter what you think about the sometimes graphic lyrics (e.g. “So you open your dress and show me your tits/On the swing set at the old playground…”), Gonzalez’s androgynous voice, Jacob Tomsky’s expansive hi-hat flourishes, Josh Marcus’ lush keyboards and Randall Miller’s almost post-punk bass lines carry you into territory that you were not expecting, from Cocteau Twins, Beth Orton, Mojave 3 and Dido to The Shins, The Postal Service, Elliot Smith and Interpol. Much like their stark lighting setup, this band’s less is indeed their more. So light a candle, throw some roses petals on the bed and whisper something warm into the ear of your lover, because Cigarettes After Sex is your new Spotify and chill. Their new album Heavenly drops October 25, 2019.
OCTOBER 3RD, 2019
THE WILTERN, LOS ANGELES, CA
PHOTOS BY FIESTABANPHOTO!
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