In general, Cigarettes After Sex sounds exactly the way you’d expect them to after looking at a few album covers: smoky and thick ambient pop. The band makes no exception in its debut full-length, Cigarettes After Sex. It’s a dark dream pop record about the nuances and tragedies of romance, and each hazy new track is just as addicting as the band’s nicotine namesake.
This album feels as though I should be listening to it in a dark, cold, hollow space – trust me when I say that’s a good thing. Cigarettes After Sex itself is not cold, however; rather, it is rich velvety jewel tones. It is syrupy, smoky thick, but not always sweet. It is a delicate whisper in the ear, both intense and soft at the same time. Polar opposites are brought together in a ten-track album, and instead of clashing the way they should, happiness and sadness work in harmony to build and release emotions in time with the faraway percussion.
There’s an ethereal quality in the gliding synth and seductively low vocals that brings an elegant edge to the album. Nearly everything seems to move in slow-motion: Each Time You Fall In Love, a shimmery love ballad, floats delicately with a chorus of, “All I wanna know is if you love her, how come you never give in?”. Even Sunsetz, probably one of the most catchy on the album, seems to move like the band isn’t in a hurry. This refusal to rush is a common theme throughout the captivating album, with only one track that clocks in under four minutes.
After listening to one Cigarettes After Sex song a few months ago, I was hooked. This album, then, was much anticipated – and I was blown away. It’s mesmerizing and complex, and many songs made my head spin. Cigarettes After Sex is reminiscent of lazy lovers, foggy mornings after a night of emotional turmoil, and dreaming until reality is miles away.
What do you think? Let me know in the comments!