WATCH: The Guilty Pleasures of Cigar Cigarette

The in-demand Brooklyn sound engineer dives into digital nostalgia for latest video

Chris McLaughlin of Cigar Cigarette (Image: Shana Sarrett)

It’s so hard to believe we are approaching 30 years of America being online on a grand scale. 

This means that the Internet as we know it is fully ripened for deep, creative nostalgia trips, of which anyone who has 3rd or 4th grade kids is well aware.

And on his latest single under the nom de plume Cigar Cigarette, sound engineer Chris McLaughlin (Kanye Sunday Service, Trey Songz, Bon Iver) explores this strange Fortnite-esque afterworld where the environment feels like waves of VHS horizontal glitches crashing up against a digital beach.

“’Guilty Pleasures’ is a song that takes place in an early period of the internet, and is built using sounds and memories from each of the last four decades,” McLaughlin explains. “It’s about two people meeting on a road in the woods and exchanging briefcases which contain their own internal organs. I thought it would be funny to begin a song with the beat from the 80’s hit Come On Eileen, making hi hats from voices and chords from vocoder. 

The latest single from Cigar Cigarette is available now (Image: BandCamp)

“Ultimately, it ascends into a wash of shoe-gaze guitars and heavy modular synths as the characters in the song take turns swallowing their own lungs,” he continues. He adds “As an engineer I love the process of recording sounds; but as a producer and musician I’m more interested in resampling those sounds and creating a collage with them, rather than just letting the performances sit. I blended the vocoder and natural vocals for the same reason: I want the song to evoke the same cold unease of the uncanny valley, to feel like something a slightly imperfect copy of a human would make.”

The video was directed by frequent Cigar Cigarette collaborator Elyse Winn of MOTHERMARY, and shot by Michael Pessah (Scandalous, Insecure, Saving Flora, Smiley Face Killers, Viva La Causa). 

“We wanted to use the ‘poor man’s process’ technique of projecting a video behind a stationary vehicle to make it appear like it’s moving,” says McLaughlin. “Using these sorts of “movie magic” practical effects from another time period can create a much more surreal and disorienting world.”

Watch the video below and follow Cigar Cigarette here.


VIDEO: Cigar Cigarette “Guilty Pleasures”


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Ron Hart

Ron Hart is the Editor-in-Chief of Rock and Roll Globe. Reach him on Twitter @MisterTribune.

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