Cigarettes After Sex reveal new single ‘Tejano Blue’

Photo Credit: Ebru Yildiz

Cigarettes After Sex announce their new LP, titled ‘X’s’, set for release on 12 July via Partisan Records.

The upcoming album is accompanied by the announcement of a tour that will span the entire globe including Asia extending into 2025, including stops in Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur, Manila, Jakarta, and Bangkok, as well as shows at some of the globe’s most iconic venues like Madison Square Garden and London’s O2 Arena.

Filled with raw, imagistic, sometimes smutty vignettes set to entrancing, slowburn pop songs, band leader Greg Gonzalez captures every emotion a romantic arc inspires.

But where previous albums have drawn from an amalgam of relationships, for the most part, ‘X’s’ centralizes on just one relationship that spanned four years.

The record feels brutal,” admits Gonzalez. “I could sit and talk about this loss to someone, but that wouldn’t scratch the surface. I have to really write about it, sing about it, have the music, and then I can start to analyze and learn from it. Or just relive it—in a good way. I don’t have that Eternal Sunshine-thing of wanting to forget.

While continuing to observe classic pop song structures, Gonzalez has moved away from the prior sonic touchstones of the ‘50s and ‘60s, finding himself now drawn to a ‘70s/’80s slow dance.

While (in typical Cigarettes style) these changes may be subtle, the overall resulting energy is akin to disco ball-refracted tears on the dance floor.

Today also marks the release of the record’s first single, “Tejano Blue”, a nod to the music of bandleader Greg Gonzalez’s Texas childhood, resulting in the most instantly memorable version (and liveliest tempo) yet of the band’s signature sensual, timeless, love songs.

Gonzalez explains: “I grew up in El Paso & Tejano music is huge there. You could go to a lot of the bars in the city & hear artists like Selena, Los Ángeles Azules & La Mafia playing over the speakers. It was in the atmosphere around me back then, but I always rejected it & gravitated towards anything else I was attracted to really.

Years later when I was living in New York City I finally started listening to Selena’s ‘Como La Flor’ at the same time that I was also listening to a lot of Cocteau Twins. I had the idea then to try to combine both of their sounds somehow, which felt a bit strange, but also felt like it was coming from a genuine place of rediscovering & finally connecting with the music that I heard around me in my youth.

For Gonzalez, preservation, catharsis, and deep self-reflection are absolutely essential to his process and his art. “It was such an intense experience and really beautiful while it lasted,” explains Gonzalez. “It’s about romance, but it’s also about who I was in that moment. How did I navigate these situations? What did I do?

That’s the painful thing: you’re seeing yourself back then.

This period was one of immense personal growth for Gonzalez, but it was also during these years that Cigarettes After Sex would hit staggering new levels in their career. The build has certainly been cumulative, beginning slowly with the virality around their earliest music and accelerated by a ceaseless tour ethic that has carried them all over the world.

‘Cry’ came out at the tail-end of 2019 and wasn’t really toured until two years later, and in that gulf of time the band found themselves thrust into becoming more than simply a preeminent indie act, but as one of the most globally accomplished acts across any genre, ready to take center stage as superstars. The band has 23 million monthly listeners on Spotify alone, which sits them squarely in the platform’s top 240 most-streamed artists. Their music has been used 6.4 billion times and counting on TikTok, holding five spots in the top 1% of all viral audio creations. Now, Indonesia, the Philippines and India are in Cigarettes After Sex’s Top 10 Streaming markets worldwide.

This ongoing rise is made all the more remarkable when you consider the band remain shadowy figures, there are no CAS music videos and their artwork is forever in moody monochrome. But in the era of the cult of personality, perhaps it’s this ongoing adherence to aesthetic, the rejection of overexposure in favor of a little mystique, that’s created the space for fans to truly commune with their music, sharing it like an illicit secret.