With lyrics straight out of romance novels, Cigarettes After Sex dedicated its loving attention to dreamy, sensual songs, leaving listeners with aching hearts in recent sold-out shows at 9:30 Club.
A glowy dreampop band formed out of El Paso, Texas, Cigarettes After Sex was formed in 2008 by lead-singer Greg Gonzalez. Though bands’ instrumental music certainly contributes to their draw, I’d say most fans agree that what makes Cigarettes After Sex stand out, is Greg Gonzalez’s voice. Simply swaying atop their commonly used synths, echoing drums, keyboards, and variously reverbing guitars, Gonzalez’s androgynous and light-weight voice connects the lyrics and melody in quite the melting pot of good feels.
Selling out two shows at DC’s 9:30 Club, both evenings saw lines wrapping the building, eager for the show.
The heart-wrenching tendencies of the bands’ lyrics, brought out the utmost devoted fans; screaming from the bottom of their lungs (or more likely, the bottom of their broken hearts), audience members from the barricade through to the back of the club sang in unison.
Stream top tracks by Cigarettes After Sex on Spotify:
Gonzalez, in addition to being the main vocalist, plays an electric guitar which carried many main melodies throughout the band’s set. Many of their songs begin with ethereal, reverbed guitar intros, easily recognizable by fans. The second Gonzalez strummed the intro of each song, especially those most popular, the energy in the club was electrified all over again. It was magical every single time.
The band closed with five of, debatably, their most recognizable pieces; songs that helped in gaining much of their popularity. This back-to-back sequence of hits closed out the show incredibly.
Watch Cigarette After Sex’s NPR Tiny Desk performance on YouTube for a taste of their live music.
- You’re All I Want
- John Wayne
- Falling in Love
- Nothing’s Gonna Hurt You Baby
- Opera House*
- Dreaming of You*
*played during the encore