The most recognizable quality about Cigarettes After Sex's music is how intimate it is.

The songs included on the band's debut self-titled record, released on June 9th, and the previous EP, are impassioned moments with simple arrangements while their lyrics capture the complex emotions of love. Frontman Greg Gonzalez founded Cigarettes After Sex in 2008 when he began writing music by himself. His continuous writing cumulated in 2012's gorgeously unassuming EP1, featuring 'Nothing's Gonna Hurt You Baby'. Beautifully written - the EP was intimate, unassuming and relatable featuring Gonzalez's silkily androgynous voice.

Although the release was an achievement, Greg maintained an awareness that if he wanted his music to reach more people he would have to make a concentrated effort to establish a full band instead of the live band he had been touring with. Today, Cigarettes After Sex stands proudly as a quartet including Gonzalez, keyboardist Phillip Tubbs, bassist Randy Miller and drummer Jacob Tomsky. With just two weeks until their debut album, Andrew Darley spoke to Greg of how he feels their debut album is a more comprehensive and accomplished version of what he touched on with the first EP and how he sees their music as open letters.

You have described your debut album as full-length novel in relation to your previous EPs. Did you feel you had more room to expand when writing for a broader context of an album?

I feel like we've made a short film that we're now turning into a feature-length. We've established a sound and we've gone really deep into it. It's a bigger work that encompasses all the sounds from the previous two EPs and expanded on it while taking it in slightly different directions.

There's a singular vision threaded throughout all your releases, even in how you present the music in the artwork.

The artwork for the LP is actually a little bit different but it retains the same idea of the monochromatic and nostalgic vibe. That's what we wanted to keep going with and go deeper with on the album.

Was the over-arching mood of the album inspired by any records that you love?

The main one I think of is Francoise Hardy's La Question. It's a black and white cover and it's probably the most beautiful record ever, just in the way it's done and has a perfect mood to it. That's one record I was aspiring to. Another one is Miles Davis' Kind of Blue. It's just perfectly done but feels very spontaneous. I love how it sounds like it was recorded at midnight - it has a twilight feeling. I love records that feel perfect in the nighttime.

It's funny you mention the nighttime because a genre that keeps coming up regarding your music is 'dream pop'.

I think it makes sense. I've heard Cocteau Twins been given that term quite a bit. One of my biggest influences is Floating Into The Night album by Julee Cruise which gets the term too, so I'm totally fine with it. The problem with genres though is that you can't say a band is one thing - you can't reduce a band to one thing. We can be seen as dream pop or ambient pop, but I usually call them slow romantic ballads.

That's what struck me about your music: you write simple love songs with fine details that touch on bigger feelings. Can it be difficult to keep lyrics simple when you're writing about emotions that are often complex?

The music is the thing I feel I could write in my sleep but the lyrics are harder in getting the story across, making things sounds right and the song's narrative. A lot of energy goes into the lyrics and avoiding clichés. I strive to make lyrics which could stand alone - they would still sound beautiful if you said them out loud. As if they're pieces of prose.

Would you say that you're as open in your day-to-day life as you are in your lyrics?

I would say that I am that open with my friends. The music that I write is almost conversational and shares the same sentiments and humour that I would with a close friend or a girlfriend. The songs are almost like little letters to people.

If they directly address people in your life, can it be strange singing these private sentiments when performing?

It's not strange but I'm taken aback when I see people connect with them so deeply or seeing people crying in the crowd. I think we've all shared similar situations. I can tell someone a very detailed story and they'll find something about it within themselves. I just want to be honest with everybody and for them to be honest about the way they feel.

Would you say that this record captures different kinds of love and various forms relationships can come in?

I really would. There's some deep, longer relationships on the record and then there's ones you would amount to a very passionate fling. A song like 'Truly' is about a passionate but short-lived rendezvous and then 'Sunsetz' is about a long-term girlfriend. I like that there's different loves I can talk about. It also speaks of the length of time it was written which was a five-year span.

Was it intense to record the album in three days?

I like to keep the sessions very low-key and mellow. I love when a session just feels like a hangout. I want us to show up and just play music. If nothing happens then it's not a big deal. I wanted it to be spontaneous and I didn't want pressure on anyone. I like it to be mellow and I want to keep it that way for as long as I can. I think this approach speaks to the music too.

Did you go into those sessions with a very clear idea of what the songs were going to be?

I had stock-piled so many songs because I had been writing for such a long-time. I'd finish a song then I'd record it but I wouldn't care for the version I made. I liked the songs but didn't like the versions. So, I had quite a lot songs I thought would be good for it. I also wrote new stuff right before the session. We recorded quite a lot of material and narrowed it down to ten songs but there's other stuff in the sessions I thought were good that we might release later.

You began Cigarettes After Sex in 2008. In the nine years since was there ever a doubt in your head whether this would happen?

There definitely was. When I lived in New York, I thought that if I keep living here and nothing goes anywhere I would become a director. I really set a bulls-eye for everything that's happening now. As time went on, I just knew that if I kept that attitude I knew something would happen. I knew the music was good and that if I could just get to the right place something would happen. I got to the right place rapidly so it's amazing.

Did you make a decision that the project needed to become a band to bring it to the next level?

That's definitely the right way to put it. I had been doing the group basically as a solo vehicle forever and I would just change members. In the span of six months it would be a totally different band; same songs with a different kind of style. When things got serious I decided that I wanted it to make it a really great band with amazing players. It came together after the release of 'Affection', and I found the perfect band. I'm a bit of a control so I'm learning to let that go which is probably a survival mechanism based on doing it on my own for so long. The band is becoming more of a band and it'll continue in that fashion.

Do you feel prepared for the success that this record could have?

I feel like it's happening to me much later than most people. I feel more prepared than if I was 18 or something like some of my heroes such as Dylan who got so much attention very early on. Since it's happening to me later in life, I feel like I've gone through some big things personally so I feel pretty ready for it.

Cigarettes After Sex is out on June 9th through Partisan Records.