greg gonzalez’ perennial sighs echo throughout the cavernous soundscape collectively culled and maintained by the brooklyn quartet cigarettes after sex. though lyrical intimacy is often at its forefront, the sheer depth of the band’s sonic architecture allows for other, more complex emotions to often permeate through each track’s aesthetic as well, a dual-strength collage of wistfulness capable of settling in for the long haul.
after releasing an impulsive collection of sparse, affecting songs in 2012, cigarettes after sex worked sporadically, putting out one-off singles here and there while retaining a captive, patient audience. the advent of their latest single, “k.,” tosses any sense of uncertainty and ambiguity about forthcoming material out the window; a full-length album is due out next year via the band’s new home, partisan records.
“k.” is a lush, expansive primer for those experiencing cigarettes after sex for the first time; gonzalez’ lead vocal sits, as always, squarely in the foreground, longing for a lost love while his bandmates create a meditative pulse underneath. jacob tomsky’s work on the trap set is the unsung glue holding the track together, an adamant kick-snare combination juxtaposed by a whispered ride cymbal pattern that embodies the band’s dichotomy in rhythmic form.
gonzalez’ guitar interludes, when locked in with randy miller’s plaintive bass lines and phillip tubbs’ warm keyboard pads, are the epitome of dream pop’s fluid tendencies, but it’s when those elements largely drop out that “k.” transcends expectations and becomes a masterful exercise in restraint. take a listen below.