The music of Cigarettes After Sex invokes not only the powerful feelings of euphoria inherent in the band’s name itself, but somehow manages to recreate emotions found only in the most romantic of movies; immersive, achingly nostalgic, thoroughly transporting, and intensely visual. It’s these powerful and unique qualities which have enabled the love songs of Cigarettes After Sex to reverberate across countless countries, and excite the most devoted kind of following.
Miss Grit, aka the Korean-American musician Margaret Sohn, makes relatable songs that masterfully dissect the feeling of self-doubt with scalpel-like precision. Her latest release, Running Slow, displays her technical prowess as a guitarist, her gifted ear for melodies with staying power, and her immensely evocative lyricism.
For Sohn, Miss Grit is a way for her to create a defined version of herself that doesn't need to be realistic. Expressing herself through her powerful, confident music while still being vulnerable about her insecurities is a dynamic that characterizes her work, with all of its cathartic pushes and pulls of emotion. Ultimately, Sohn says, it’s all about feeling self-doubt, working through it with music, and letting it all subside.
Toni Sancho is on a voyage of self-discovery, and she wants you to come along. The potent London based songwriter is capturing attention with her riveting honesty, offering poetic insight that incorporates the R&B emotion of D’Angelo, the theatre of Florence + The Machine, and the ambition of Frank Ocean. Each new song takes her closer to her aim, bringing her innermost feelings into focus.
The Furniture, the self-titled album from Baltimore musicians Michael Kuhl and Matthew Pierce, is a meditative trip through amorphous drones, rolling drums and haunting atmospheres recorded during a single live performance. The duo subconsciously weave years of mutual understanding into the free form eight tracks that make up the album.
The pair point to 1970’s German experimental music such as Cluster, and the pioneering minimalist composer Moondog as touchstones; those kosmiche influences do show themselves on The Furniture – be it during Kontrail’s synthesized ebb and flow, or Set to Quiver’s shuffling drums that gradually bring themselves to the forefront, amidst a myriad of other percussive shakers and flutters. That these compositions manage to hold such a strong overall identity while traversing so much sonic ground is testament to the pair’s combined sense of creative adventure and trust in one another.