Neon Lights headliner Cigarettes After Sex's 'sexual' music has a following in Saudi Arabia

SINGAPORE – It has been quite a few years since American indie band Cigarettes After Sex started to build a global following with their gauzy, ambient-pop songs but frontman and principal songwriter Greg Gonzalez is still surprised by how far their music has spread.

The band has been on tour around the world since 2016 and will be back in Singapore to perform on Saturday (Nov 10), the second night of three-day music and arts festival Neon Lights 2018 at Fort Canning Gate.

The quartet sold out its last show here at the Capitol Theatre in 2017.

Says Gonzalez: “Since I was little, I wanted to make music and travel the world but I didn’t realise how big the world was. It really does feel like our music is reaching places I don’t know about, as an American at least.”

Their current Asian stops include first-time gigs at cities like Manila,but they have fans as far-flung away asSaudi Arabia.

“I’m always talking to fans from Saudi Arabia. We’d love to go but it might be harder to get there, based on everything we know (about the country).

“The music is very sexual, I’m not sure, culture-wise, how they will react to it,” says the singer known for writing songs based on past relationships.

Because of their confessional nature, Gonzalez says that he gets a lot of fans reaching out to him with their relationship issues. “It feels like a cosmic thing, we are all going through the same stuff, the same experience.”

Formed in 2008, the Brooklyn-based band started building buzz online after they released their debut EP, I. in 2012.

A song from it, Nothing’s Gonna Hurt You Baby, is their most-streamed track on YouTube to date and has clocked over 81 million views.

In 2017, the band released their self-titled debut album, which peaked at No. 2 in the British indie charts.

Several of their songs have been used to soundtrack popular television shows such as The Handmaid’s Tale (2017 to now) as well as two films released this year, science-fiction romance Zoe and comedy-drama Hearts Beat Loud.

Not a band to rest on their laurels, Gonzalez says that they have already started the recording sessions for their second album. They will take a five-month break from touring after it wraps up at the end of the year, and focus their energies on the studio.

The new tunes will not be too far off the band’s current sound, he says. “Some little minor things are changing, the backbeats and the groove, but nothing very major, we’re not doing anything crazy.”

Gonzalez says that their upcoming set at Neon Lights will stay true to what listeners hear on their recorded songs.

“We like to keep it very pure. At this point in our career, now that we really like what we’ve done on our records, we like to keep the character alive at the shows.”



WHERE: Fort Gate, Fort Canning Park,

WHEN: Tomorrow, from 6pm, Saturday and Sunday, from 2pm (Nov 9 to 11),

ADMISSION: From $25(children three to 12 years old) and $99 (13 years and above). Go to


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