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Cigarettes After Sex is an American ambient pop band formed in 2008, from El Paso, Texas. The band is known for their ethereal and often dream-like musical style, lyrics often based on the themes of romance and love, as well as Gonzalez’s ethereal and “androgynous” voice. While marketed as an ambient pop band, Cigarettes After Sex are also considered to be shoegaze, dream pop and slowcore. The band’s debut extended play (EP), I., was released in 2012, with the song “Nothing’s Gonna Hurt You Baby” eventually becoming a sleeper hit through commercial licensing. After the release of the standalone single “Affection” in 2015, the band released their self-titled debut studio album on June 2017 to positive reviews.
In a feature for Noisey by Vice, Christina Cacouris describes Cigarettes After Sex as “elemental, hazy and romantic, but with a noir edge underneath Gonzalez’s androgynous voice” as well as “sweet and sentimental“. “As the band’s name suggests, it’s reminiscent of lying in bed, but its ambient qualities don’t prevent it from being music you can dance to.” Gonzalez cites Françoise Hardy as his favorite singer and Miles Davis as having great impact. The band also includes The Cowboy Junkies’ album The Trinity Session, Julee Cruise, and Cocteau Twins as influences. The music blog Eardrums Music describes the band as “slow, dreamy and beautiful with gorgeous, tender vocals and very good lyrics.” and compares it to Mazzy Star Music bloggers behind Swell Tone describe Cigarettes After Sex as a band producing “melancholy, slow pop that will sweetly rock any listener into a listless stupor.”
Reviewing Affection for Independentmusicnews.com, Jae Pyl concludes that “there’s just such an intimacy to Cigarettes After Sex’s sound that it’s impossible to not let it into the pit of your belly.”