Somewhere between the serene sadness of Mazzy Star and the melancholic optimism of Beach House is the ambient tranquility of Cigarettes After Sex. The songs are defined by the delicate intonation of Greg Gonzalez’s wispy, feminine voice as it drifts above a minimalist and dreamy audio landscape.
The American group played through their repertoire to an enamored crowd at Klub Kwadrat beneath the soft glow of purple lights. The music perfectly captures the interlude between a satisfying climax and the slow fade into sleep. When playing their tender single “Nothing’s Gonna Hurt You Baby” you could feel the soothing of existential angst and intimate personal vulnerabilities in the room.
Yet as the set went on, the limited emotional range of Cigarettes After Sex began to emerge as songs started to blur into each other without distinction, offering no surprises and slowly descending into sleepiness. Even when revealing new songs, there was little evolution in the band’s sound.
It’s the first cigarette after sex that is the most satisfying. Each additional one becomes a little less pleasurable until the ashtray is full and the bedroom lamp turns off.
It was similar with Cigarettes After Sex’s songs at Klub Kwadrat. Except here, at the end of the night, the lights turned on.