Cigarettes After Sex: “It kills the magic if someone asks, ‘What’s our song gonna be?'”

Greg Gonzalez writes songs like intimate diary entries: explicit, erotic and nakedly autobiographical. That was all well and good when he started out in 2008, before anyone was really listening, but in 2016, his band Cigarettes After Sex became an overnight internet sensation eight years in the making.

It was in January of that year that his song “Nothing’s Gonna Hurt You Baby”, which had been released to little fanfare four years earlier, went belatedly and unexpectedly viral.

It has now been played 95 million times on YouTube alone, helping the band’s 2017 self-titled debut album find an audience eager for its gauzy, hypnagogic melancholy and X-rated lyrics. The question is, does this success mean that now every potential romantic partner expects to be memorialised in song?

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