If you still consume at least a li'l bit of your music via YouTube, like some of us still do, the instantly classic, instantly memorable cover to the I. EP by Cigarettes After Sex will have plagued your viewing suggestions every time you dare dip your toes into the waters of the hipster contingent. Since releasing their debut EP four years back to barely a batted eyelid, their perfectly calculated soothing dream-pop went by largely unnoticed - until a few months ago, when interest in the band and in particular the song Nothing's Gonna Hurt You Baby (9 million YouTube hits) suddenly built up and up and up. Now, the band that started off as a tiny bedroom-type thing have the demand to leave their NYC homeland to tour the world. Quite the anomaly, eh?
Cigarettes After Sex make a kind of incredibly sensual, melodic, soothing variant of dream-pop that centres around soft synth hums, basic J&MC style percussion and slow burning guitar sighs musically. But this is turned from nice melodic ambient-pop into semi-spiritual numinous experiences by the luscious voice of Greg Gonzalez, the singer and lead songwriter, who essentially sounds like a lovelorn Neil Halstead.
The band have about 6 songs released online, and each one is so instantly classic sounding that it's hard not to resort to hyperbole. Their cover of Starry Eyes by Roky Erickson is basically a hazy sonic trip that sounds like being in love feels, Nothing's Gonna Hurt You Baby is as beautiful-sounding as any piece of art should ever be and Keep On Loving You (only a few months old this one) is full of spiralling dreamy melodies a la Souvlaki - obviously Slowdive comparisons are a bit too easy, but the pull of Cigarettes' songs are so magnetic that this pretty hefty comparison is the only one I can make because they're just that special.
With their sound being so flawless yet so universaly accessible and enjoyable, in Cigarettes After Sex the fans of dream-pop and all that ethereal jazz have a band that could genuinely break fucking massive. Their music is some of the most affecting you'll hear, and everything from their fascinating frontman to their record sleeves with a classic look to them hints at this band being a really incredible prospect. Sure, their lyrics aren't the deepest things in the world, but as a listening experience where you can lose yourself in an ethereal haze of beautiful noise this band are just the greatest thing...
(written by calum cashin)