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Smokin’ hot: Ambient pop band Cigarettes After Sex riding wave of attention

Greg Gonzalez has been on a short break.

And he could use another week or so.

“The last five months have been pretty insane,” he says in a recent phone interview.

Gonzalez is a member of the ambient pop band Cigarettes After Sex. The band formed in El Paso in 2008 and has since released an EP in 2012 and a handful of singles.

The band then gained a lot of buzz online with its single “Affection” and its cover of REO Speedwagon’s “Keep On Loving You.”

The attention helped the band land performances in Europe and Asia.

Gonzalez and crew – which consists of Jacob Tomsky, Phillip Tubbs and Randall Miller – recently released its self-titled debut album on Partisan Records in June.

Gonzalez says the bulk of the album was completed in December 2015.

“What took long in getting the album out is that the band started to get popular and talking to labels,” he says.

With the album out, Gonzalez looks back on the past five months and is grateful to be through with it.

During a portion of the time, Cigarettes After Sex was touring in Europe.

“We had to perform a lot of new material, and audiences hadn’t heard it before,” he says. “We dove right in and just played our hearts out. Everything we’re doing is new for us. We’ve never experienced this at all.”

With all the buzz around the band, Gonzalez says, the band is taking each step in stride.

“We’re all a little older,” he says. “We’re wiser. If we were 19 or so, it would have been much crazier.”

Gonzalez and Miller are now based in Brooklyn, N.Y.

Tomsky is in California, and Tubbs is in El Paso.

Though there’s distance among all the band members, Gonzalez says, the members wait until they are together to create music.

“The music pours out of us when we’re in the studio,” he says. “It’s a very old-school way to approach music. It works for us because we’re able to see each other and get inspired by each other.”

Gonzalez is no stranger to New Mexico. As a teen, he would often drive up to Albuquerque to see shows.

This will be his first time exploring Santa Fe, as the band’s show is at Meow Wolf.

“I’ve heard so much about Santa Fe and Meow Wolf,” he says. “It’s a bonus that we’re performing in such at cool venue.”