The seventh episode of The Handmaid’s Tale ended with this song, “Nothing’s Gonna Hurt You Baby,” by an ambient pop group named Cigarettes After Sex. I’ve had them on heavy rotation for the last two weeks.
Cigarettes After Sex is, basically, a Brooklyn-by-way-of-Texas singer-songwriter named Greg Gonzalez and an evolving troop of collaborators. In 2012, Gonzalez recorded the first and so far only Cigarettes After Sex EP in a stairway at his alma mater, University of Texas at El Paso. He released a handful of singles over the following five years, and, somewhere along the way, attracted an online following. The audio-only YouTube version of “Nothing’s Gonna Hurt You Baby” currently shows more than 62 million plays.
Cigarettes After Sex released a self-titled début album earlier this summer. The music reminds me of the Cowboy Junkies and Mazzy Star, but it’s even more lush and sensual than that of those 80s virtuosi. The band’s name certainly captures the mood of its music.
The cover photography, btw, is by Man Ray.
Here are some of the singles. Audio only.
“Each Time You Fall in Love” (2017)