Beginning as a casual project between Alex Luciano (guitar) and Noah Bowman (drums), New Paltz, New York’s Diet Cig have made a big statement out of five highly infectious pop songs. The pair met under rather unusual circumstances: Luciano, desperate for a lighter, interrupted the set of Bowman’s other band, Earl Boykins. No lighter was to be found, but a friendship was sparked and Diet Cig was born. The duo’s February 2015 debut EP, Over Easy, consists of lyrics written by Luciano in her bedroom. While recalling the sound of speedy twee-pop groups like Tiger Trap and All Girl Summer Fun Band, the record explores “the innocence of adolescence and infatuation.” With Bowman’s crashing drum kit offering stationary support, Luciano becomes an onstage tornado as lines between band and audience blur into a massive dance party.
After garnering attention from the likes of Pitchfork, Rolling Stone, Stereogum, and Spin, Diet Cig return with their new seven-inch, Sleep Talk / Dinner Date. “Sleep Talk” begins where Over Easyleft off, with the candidly self-analytical statement, “I can’t play instruments very well and I’ll eat all of your cereal.” While this line may feel lighthearted, the narrative quickly grows complicated with the gentle admission, “If I told you I loved you I don’t know who it would scare away faster.” “Dinner Date” continues the theme of painful retrospection and vulnerability as Luciano examines familial disappointment. Both songs offer a more complex level of intimacy and prove that Diet Cig are here to stay.