Cigarettes After Sex - K.


The latest single from Cigarettes After Sex feels careful - every beat is a barefoot step on a floor of shattered glass after a bottle has broke in the kitchen. Somewhere hidden under his trance-like composure the singer is nervous that his flirtations with selfish desire won’t route the path to his lover’s heart - there’s constant unexpressed worry that for all his consideration the wrong thing will leak out & the intimate conversation will end in a pitfall. The song manages a similar navigation of hazards, risking the tropes of familiar subject matter but it ends up feeling fresh thanks to the band’s trademark enormous reverb. Rarely outside our own minds are these kind of personal admissions elevated to the level of importance implied by the grandiose ambience that blankets every sound. In our most emotional moments, it’s difficult to say much that can’t be dismissed as silly or cliche when words fail the complexity of the situation. This is why the track lands so well - the lyrics are simple enough to be immediately accessible and familiar while the atmosphere makes the whole thing transportive & convincing.

There’s some light white noise audible in the bare opening & I find myself wishing it wasn’t present. The noise sets the wrong tone - it reminds you the song was recorded by real gear & real people & I’d prefer to believe in the fantasy the ethereal production suggests, that the music is tuning to radio waves of primordial origin, an extraction of ether & collective conscious. Perhaps in the digital age it’s nice to know human beings are still capable of channeling this much emotion across the technological gulf. Indeed, in some cases (this song included) some of that emotional strength owes itself to technology to even make it possible. Either way, K. serves as a promising herald of the debut LP from this Brooklyn ambient pop group.