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The Sunflower

REVIEW: ‘Dark Vacay’ is a relaxing cruise song just before summer vacay

Photo courtesy of Spanish Prayers

Cigarettes After Sex, the ethereal indie band led by Greg Gonzalez, has once again graced our playlists with the band’s latest single, “Dark Vacay.” This track serves as the second glimpse into their forthcoming studio album, “X’s,” (like exes, get it?) slated for release on July 12. 

The band previously teased their project by releasing “Tejano Blue” in February. While that track focused on Texas adventures, “Dark Vacay” unfolds like a dreamy summer reverie. The reflection is tinged with the bittersweet memories of a past romance.

Gonzalez lyrically navigates through the haze of self-destructive behaviors intertwined with moments of euphoria. This is all set against the backdrop of European escapades, specifically in the enchanting streets of Prague.

As he reminisces on the whirlwind tour with an ex-lover, the song encapsulates the paradoxical blend of exhilaration and negative emotions.

Despite the melancholic undertones, “Dark Vacay” retains the signature atmospheric sound that has become synonymous with Cigarettes After Sex. The undertones do not stop it from being a comforting song from one of my favorite bands. They successfully distract from some of the darker themes with a dreamy background melody for me to get lost in. 

Gonzalez’s hushed vocals intertwine seamlessly with the guitar chords, crafting sonic landscapes that are both introspective and hauntingly beautiful. 

While some listeners may find familiarity in the band’s sonic palette, others appreciate the subtle nuances that breathes new life into their evolving sound. 

The inclusion of the lyric “We don’t need Brazzers” felt weird and unnecessary for the song, especially with the direction in the storytelling. But as I listened to it more, it felt like the casual sexual innuendo had a deeper meaning. 

Someone who goes on that site is looking to disconnect from reality and immerse themselves in that world, for the best of terms to put it. The song continues with “Feel the world around you.” He is saying — likely specifically in this relationship — to stay in touch with your reality and that they also literally probably do not need the site. 

This song is so classically Cigarettes After Sex.

They repeat their typical innuendos at random and sporadic times throughout their lyrics while still creating a track with dreamy, spaced-out background music. 

“Dark Vacay” offers a narrative rich with imagery in the lyrics as well as symbolism. References to previous tracks, such as “Pistol,” add depth to the lyrical landscape, creating a cohesive narrative thread that binds the body of work together.

At this point in the song we have heard about the growing relationship of the singer with a romantic partner during a tour. He advises to “Feel the world around you,” by which he means to stay in reality and appreciate the little moments and adventures presented before them before it is over.

The track concludes with a reminder of the transient nature of relationships as the couple’s romance whirlwind comes crashing down in the song’s outro, “Crash and fall.”

Amidst the wreckage is a testament to the resilience of the human spirit in the face of heartache.

As Cigarettes After Sex continues to tease their upcoming album, “X’s” with “Dark Vacay,” one thing is certain: their ability to capture the complexities of love and loss in a sonically mesmerizing way remains unparalleled. Their years without releasing an album seems to be worth the wait so far. 

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About the Contributor
Piper Pinnetti
Piper Pinnetti, Reporter
Piper Pinnetti is a reporter for The Sunflower. Pinnetti previously designed content for The Sunflower's Instagram. Pinnetti is a junior at Wichita State, majoring in journalism with the hopes of pursuing a career in writing. Pinnetti uses she/her pronouns.

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