There are only two Cigarettes After Sex releases to date. Gonzalez refers to them as records, but the first, I., released in 2012, contains four songs, and the second, Affection, from October 2015, has just two. The mood is consistent throughout: “Affection” is half bittersweet apology, half long-distance relationship ballad. The pace is so slow you almost want Gonzalez to hurry up and sing, but a crisp drum beat and a floating guitar line beautifully distract from his dawdling. Even more impressive: Gonzales takes the REO Speedwagon lite-FM classic, “Keep On Loving You,” and slows it to a crawl, drawing out the mournfulness at its core.
Cigarettes After Sex are an indie/slowcore band that originated from El Paso, Texas in 2008, though they got their proper start in 2012 when they relocated to Brooklyn, New York, which is where they are currently based out of. Their debut EP was released in 2012, and garnered quite a bit of attention over time, which is definitely deserved. For one, these four songs are practically flawless. Think of the atmosphere and gentle vocals of Slowdive mixed with the evil, dark twin version of a Pixies bass line. They can be slow and moody, but strangely optimistic, which works out to be the perfect dynamical paradox. I highly recommend their first EP, it’s a perfect example of how slowcore/shoegaze/whatever you want to call it can perfectly mesh atmospheric sounds with pop sensibilities.
After a few years and some major line-up shifts, their second EP (if it can be called that) was just released this month. It’s only one song, but it’s one damn good song. “Affection” picks up where they left off, but with a little higher production value, and a very prominent, swelling electric guitar to add some weight to the song.