Tuesday, June 06, 2017

Album Review :: Cigarettes After Sex - Cigarettes After Sex


Cigarettes After Sex

Cigarettes After Sex

June 9 2017 (Partisan Records)


Words: Linn Branson

While it may trade track names like 'Apocalypse' and 'John Wayne' giving the impression of a 'lads' listen', there is nothing in this sultry vocalled 10-track dreampop offering other than that which comes embedded in velvet smooth lushness and the kind of album to put on before, during and after intimate relations, or used therapeutically as a sleeping draught for insomniacs.

To that end, don't expect there to be any sudden harsh instrumental explosions on this debut from the Brooklyn-based 'ambient pop' collective, or really any track that deviates from the same course. Immersive and decidedly hypnotic, songwriter Greg Gonzalez simply oozes nuggets of pop-noir gorgeousness.

Gonzalez’s androgynous vocals are whispered and intimate as they hover over subdued drums and delicate, ethereal guitar arpeggios on standout track 'Apocalypse', the slow-burn five minutes of perfection number. 'Sweet' follows in both its richness of melody as much as name, while 'Opera House' - the longest track, nudging over the six minute mark - creates a spine tingling sense of melancholy through its textures of steady drum beat and atmospheric percussion and guitar strains.

The dreamy 'Each Time You Fall In Love' was written, Gonzalez has explained, about "how I was never able to find myself completely satisfied with any romance or love affair that I had been through. It was as if I was always on the lookout for something more and it had gotten me into plenty of trouble over time." It makes you inclined to delve more, but instead you just feel inclined to float on its strings while Gonzalez ponders: “She took you for a ride in summer, baby / Lost all your money to her / All I wanna know is if you love her / How come you never give in?”

An album that possibly should come with a 'not to be played while driving or operating heavy machinery' warning, but otherwise, apply liberally to both ears as often as required.

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