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The Name Speaks Volumes: Cigarettes After Sex

Berklee Groove shares the fireside vibes of Cigarettes After Sex at the House of Blues in Boston.

Girl with Micro Braids

DECEMBER 3, 2019

It’s heartwarming when the audience emit the vibe of a band even before the show starts. And in the case of Cigarettes After Sex, this was true. The room fluttered with gentle conversations paired with muted autumnal colours. On the screen looped a film of a black and white river, reminiscent of the rainy weather we had escaped from.

This show was the perfect chance to be enveloped in ‘feels’. I couldn’t help but take slow deep luxurious breaths, soaking in the atmosphere of hugs and gentle swaying, which lasted for a short 50 minutes. Cigarettes After Sex released their latest album, Cry, this month. It captures this vibe perfectly. As they thanked the crowd for attending, they introduce a song off the album, ‘Falling In Love’.

Let me set the scene. Imagine you’ve been stuck outside in a dreary mid-fall storm. Your coat, your boots and your hair is drenched. You long for a crackling fire, comfy clothing and a mug of chai. When you finally find that refuge, your only desire is soak up the nourishment of sitting in silent companionship with someone you love.

Now imagine visuals of open wide black and white shots of the ocean on a dreary day. And music with a pace that envelops you like a deep sigh. Topped off with vocals in an entrancing androgynous timbre, the music of Cigarettes After Sex is the stuff that effortlessly accompanies the hopeless romantic. In other words, at some point, everybody.

Their background visuals supplemented this feeling perfectly. Slow vintage head-shots of women candidly eyeing the camera accompanied the couples embracing with slow kisses in the dark crowd. For those alone, the ambient guitars kissed their ears and the kick drum enveloped their chests.

And although the sound world and song structure remained the same throughout most of the show, I never tired of the wash of comforting bass, kick, guitar and vocals. They connected to the audience almost entirely through their music, breaking only thrice for a small string of words to verbally acknowledge the audience.

I left the show feeling full. It was a snapshot of snugly connection in a space blanketed by their sound world. I could listen to a whole Spotify playlist of them in winter weather.

When you’re longing for a comforting vibe, just think of their name, Cigarettes After Sex, which aptly capture their aesthetic and more importantly, sound.

Photos by Alex Kawasaki

Hear more about their latest release, Cry, HERE

Cigarettes After Sex


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