- 20 Jul 21
'Clichéd Ciggy Smoker' is a social commentary on incel culture, melding together aspects of Britpop and punk.
Dublin-based Westmeath outfit Plastic Cowboys have unveiled the '50s-inspired visuals for their brand new single 'Clichéd Ciggy Smoker', premiered by Hot Press below.
The indie rock duo comprised of Ciaran McGann and Darren McCarthy formed in early 2019. Their sound has been described as an electric combination of '70s punk rock, art punk, and grunge fused with contemporary production. The pair's impressive previous releases, 'Not as Cool' and debut EP Splinter, have garnered 55,000 Spotify streams and were even featured on several high-profile Spotify editorial playlist.
Following the release of their debut EP earlier this year, Plastic Cowboys have been writing and recording a slew of new music, with 'Clichéd Ciggy Smoker' and several other tracks emerging as the result. Most of this work was done in their home studio, which they set up during Covid to record all guitar and bass before restrictions were eased allowing them to record the drums at Daylight Studios.
The track was mixed in Wavefarm Productions with Kevin Brennan, who has worked with Plastic Cowboys since the beginning, helping them to hone their ever-evolving sound.
As Ciaran explains, “'Cliched Ciggy Smoker' is about my feelings towards incel culture and, and the delusion, misogyny and hypocrisy that can be found within it. This culture surrounds itself with self-victimhood fuelled by the notion that a woman's only purpose in life is to be a commodity for men, and because their stocks are empty, it is to the fault of half the population of the world rather than their own insecurities and flaws.”
A vibrant accompanying video directed by Joe Evans sees actor Maisie Kennett star in the nostalgic clip, which plays with throwback cigarette advertising stereotypes.
"We wanted to do something different for 'Clichéd Ciggy Smoker', we had already done a video for our previous single 'None Like You' where we wanted to play with colour and have something striking that would catch the viewers attention," Darren tells Hot Press. "This time, we wanted to take that a step further but wanted to take ourselves out of the equation, we had worked with Joe Evans before on a small video for our social media and one of the first things that caught our attention when working with him was his use of colour and how he could really make a video that captured an audience's attention."
'Clichéd Ciggy Smoker' as a title was Ciaran's reference to the romanticisation of cigarettes in the lyrics of indie bands.
"I was being a little ironic with that title, and it gave me a chuckle at the time. This tied together with Joe’s idea of showcasing the different eras of cigarette ad clichés seemed to effortlessly combine the two into an ironic sandwich, best washed down with a cool beverage of smugness. I’m quite proud of this song lyrically and musically, and am delighted with Joe’s video, as I believe it does the song justice. We talked to Joe a bit here and there about ideas for the video, but kinda left him to it, as we very much trusted his vision, and thought it best not to interfere."
Surprisingly, Joe Evans had only been discussing cigarette ads of the past the day before Plastic Cowboys got in contact with him about their new single.
"I was in the pub with a friend with mine and he said it would be really fun to do a video like an old cigarette commercial, when he initially brought it up I just laughed it off but then I got a message from Ciaran and Darren the next day asking me to work on 'Clichéd Ciggy Smoker'. I just put two and two together and decided to make a weird/fun version of a '50s style commercial," Joe remarks.
"I found that they had really great sets and rubbish slogans and I thought it would be perfect for the video. The initial idea was to have a behind-the-scenes look into how those commercials were made with people sitting around smoking and to focus on the production side of it rather than it actually being a commercial but then there was a bit of a shift while making the video and it turned into little shorts and became more like the compilation that originally inspired it but having disjointed era’s of cigarette commercials and what they looked like. At the end of the day we wanted it weird, wacky, bright and colourful and I think we achieved that."
Check out the brand new video below:
Photo credit: She Bop Imagery