“I’ve always avoided studios,” says Cigarettes After Sex frontman Greg Gonzalez. “There’s something special about recording out in the world, some kind of X-factor that comes from the character and atmosphere of wherever it is that you’re working that becomes essential to the feeling of the music.”
That marriage of sound and setting is the heart and soul of ‘Cry’, Cigarettes After Sex’s riveting sophomore album. Recorded in a stunning house on the Spanish island of Mallorca, the collection reflects the uneasy beauty, erotic longing, and stark minimalism of the space, all smooth lines and soft light. Gonzalez let the location guide his writing, penning nearly all of the instrumental work in spontaneous fits of inspiration captured every night between 9pm and 2am in the house’s high-walled, outdoor courtyard. While the music seemed to pour from him all at once, it would be nearly two years before Gonzalez would finally attempt to match those performances with words, and the result is a collection of songs that toy with time as a linear notion, a dreamy meditation on sex and romance that merges past and present into a slow, reverb-soaked swirl.
While Cigarettes After Sex’s sound may be most associated with the romantic pop music of the late 50’s and early 60’s, Gonzalez pushes into more unexpected sonic territory on ‘Cry’, reaching back to his childhood in El Paso, Texas, to draw subtle melodic influence from 90’s Tejano stars like Selena and mainstream pop country artists like Shania Twain. Gonzalez pushes himself lyrically on the album, too, tackling sex with the graphic frankness of Henry Miller or Leonard Cohen as he renders unabashed, sometimes explicitly erotic scenes with a casual candor. Writing with a filmmaker’s eye, he captures tiny moments with a rich, cinematic detail that manages to locate the profound within the mundane.
“I was obsessed with films growing up,” Gonzalez says. “I think that’s why I write in such a visual way. I’m trying to create these little scenes without any judgment or comment, to capture them and frame them and let people interpret them however they want.”
The week Gonzalez and his bandmates—drummer Jacob Tomsky, bassist Randy Miller, and keyboardist Phillip Tubbs—arrived in Mallorca to begin recording ‘Cry’ happened to be the very week that their long-awaited, self-titled debut LP hit shelves in 2017. Hailed by Vice as “an overnight internet sensation eight years in the making,” Gonzalez released that album on the heels of an EP and a series of singles that had managed to rack up millions of plays on YouTube and launch him from recording in the stairwell of his hometown university to headlining shows around the world. The full-length collection earned international raves out of the gate, with The Independent praising it as “intimate and spectral” and Pitchfork describing it as “restrained, low-boil…where tempo, repetition, and muted composition construct an entire story within the pauses between the notes and the ideas between the lines.” Nearly every review honed in on the romantic darkness of the music and the haunting androgyny of Gonzalez’s vocals, and the album was a fixture on roundups and year-end lists: Rolling Stone named Cigarettes After Sex an Artist You Need To Know, NPR listeners voted them one of the year’s top new discoveries, and The Guardian dubbed the band’s “noir dreampop” as “among 2017’s best.” In addition to being a critical smash, the record was also a streaming juggernaut, approaching one billion plays across all platforms and landing the band dates on five continents along with festival slots from Primavera and Best Kept Secret to Lollapalooza and Reading & Leeds.
Partisan Records no longer has the capacity to accept unsolicited demos.
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WHAT IF I WANT/NEED TO RETURN AN ITEM I'VE PURCHASED FROM YOU?
We will replace any factory-defective item purchased from us within a reasonable time frame with a fresh copy of that title. Please contact us at [email protected] and tell us the order #, artist, title and format of the defective item. Once the return has been approved by email, we'll send you a replacement copy.
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I’M A WRITER, RADIO DJ, PROMOTER, LOOKING TO BE INVOLVED W/ ONE OF YOUR ARTISTS. HOW DO I REACH YOU?
Please reach out to the below contacts for press / radio. If you can’t find the contact you’re looking for, feel free to e-mail us at [email protected].
Radio Inquiries: Dan Yocom, Partisan Records, [email protected]
Press Inquiries: Bryant Kitching, Partisan Records, [email protected]
I’D LIKE YOU TO SIGN ME OR MY BAND. HOW DO I MAKE THAT HAPPEN?
We wish we could accept submissions and listen to everything. Unfortunately, we no longer have the bandwidth to review and respond to unsolicited demos. Please do not send physical demos to our office, or reach out over social media. Demos sent to [email protected] will be filed away until we are actively looking for new artists.
WHO SHOULD I REACH OUT TO IN ORDER TO LICENSE A SONG FROM ONE OF YOUR ARTISTS?
You can email our head of sync, licensing, and brand partnerships: Catie Ginsburg, [email protected].
I WANT TO INTERN FOR PARTISAN RECORDS. WHAT SHOULD I DO?
Please note that all internships at Partisan Records are unpaid. However, we can offer school credit. If you’d still like to intern for us, please e-mail your resume to [email protected] and include the desired dates of your internship, days of the week and times that you’re available to come into the office, a brief paragraph about why you’d like to work for Partisan, and your top five favorite records of all time.
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I CAN’T DOWNLOAD MY ALBUM AFTER I BOUGHT IT, WHAT SHOULD I DO?
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