Premiere: NYC’s Nicotine Dolls Soar on Stunning Cinematic Debut EP ‘Sex, Addiction, & Everyone Else.’

Sex, Addiction, & Everyone Else. - Nicotine Dolls
Sex, Addiction, & Everyone Else. - Nicotine Dolls
A buoyant, cinematic, and enthralling experience, Nicotine Dolls’ debut EP ‘Sex, Addiction, & Everyone Else.’ is a raw reckoning full of pain and passion, soaring melodies and stirring imagery.
for fans of The 1975, Bastille, The Killers
Stream: ‘Sex, Addiction, & Everyone Else.’ – Nicotine Dolls




A buoyant, cinematic, and enthralling experience, Nicotine Dolls’ debut EP is a raw reckoning full of pain and passion, soaring melodies and stirring imagery. The New York City band unveil layers of perspective and the human condition on Sex, Addiction, & Everyone Else., a three-track tempest that is as beautiful as it is achingly visceral, and as tender as it is utterly dramatic.

Sex, Addiction, & Everyone Else. - Nicotine Dolls
Sex, Addiction, & Everyone Else. – Nicotine Dolls
I wanna close my eyes
you don’t know how badly I do
This happens every night when I’m
Lying naked next to you
If you got the body I got the time and we won’t spend it fighting
If you got the body I got the time it’s just sex online
If you got the body then I got another addiction in my life
You’re not here I’m all alone won’t you turn you on and say to me

Atwood Magazine is proud to be premiering the visual EP for Nicotine Dolls’ Sex, Addiction, & Everyone Else., independently released February 2, 2021. Fronted by charismatic singer/songwriter Sam Cieri alongside guitarist John Hays, bassist John Merritt, and drummer Abel Tabares, Nicotine Dolls make catchy alternative and indie rock music that comes from, and speaks to the soul. Since debuting with 2019’s “Fake,” the four-piece have come into their own with a sound comparable to such acclaimed acts as The 1975, Bastille, and The Killers: Explosive yet intimate, catchy and substantial, Nicotine Dolls’ music blends memorable sound with deep meaning.

In labeling the band one of Atwood Magazine‘s artists to watch in 2021, we wrote:

“If you want to be stunned into silence and then shaken awake, New York City’s Nicotine Dolls have you covered. A raw rush of anxious energies and urgent indie rock color this band’s music – and while they’re quite new, we can’t help but feel like we’ve known them for a lifetime. Their song “The Madness” is a frenetic fever dream ready to jilt us out of our collective funk – an intensely magnetizing musical rendering of the emotional impact of anxiety, PTSD, and panic attacks on an individual. Meanwhile, the single “Burning a Good Thing” is a tight, dramatic alt-rock anthem ready to be hollered at the top of our lungs. Relentless, fierce, and utterly explosive, Nicotine Dolls are a New York act you simply need to know. Frontman Sam Cieri’s lyricism is second-to-none in terms of conjuring up vivid imagery and palpable, raw emotion, and his melodies are eerily catchy: It’s odd to have multiple songs by the same band stuck in your head at once. I was blown away by the charged energy coursing through this March’s release, “Should Have Danced.” Nicotine Dolls’ fourth single, “Should Have Danced” is an impassioned fever dream full of hope, longing, and electric energy that asserts them as one of the best up-and-coming acts in New York City; it’s compelling from start to finish, as bittersweet as it is unapologetic in its uproar. The band’s stripped-down COVID-19 release, “After the End,” further fills out their repertoire by capturing Cieri at his most tender.
Nicotine Dolls
Nicotine Dolls

Nicotine Dolls have started off 2021 in the best of ways with their first extended player, a dynamic and unassailable 12-minute rapture that showcases the best of what they have to offer. “The EP is three sides of an existence,” Sam Cieri tells Atwood Magazine. “We all struggle with sex, addiction, and everyone around us on a daily basis. These songs are just our interpretation of those specific human obstacles.”

The EP opens with “Hands,” a tender upheaval that rises and falls in bursts of urgent, feverish energy. “This whole song stemmed from that bass line Merritt plays,” Cieri recalls. “We were up writing at his cabin and he was casually playing that opening riff and its one of those full stop what is that kind of sounds. It has this feeling of unease and pleasure which is what drove the rest of the song. Lyrically I wanted to talk about something that I think is so obvious but we try very hard to ignore and that is our relationship unhealthy to porn. The desperate need to find pleasure and connection instantly through something that is not real. The production and arrangement then supports that by balancing between cold cool guitars and warm vocals. It has a hollow feeling that wants so much to be fulfilled and real.”

Cieri’s words fill the air with the stinging sensations of longing and isolation – two extraordinarily relatable feelings for many listeners at present:

If you got the body then I got the time and it’s just sex online
If you got the body then I got another addictions in my life
Maybe real but I feel that I don’t know what’s a lie
I don’t trust myself when I’m lonely
Why don’t you touch me
Why don’t you touch me cause you’re not there
Why don’t you touch me
With your hands.

The band follow “Hands” with the driving force and bustling dynamics of “If I Come Home,” an intimate entanglement full of tension and angst. “This is the oldest song we’ve played as band as it was in our very first set and will always be a favorite of mine,” Cieri says. “This was written a few years before the band, and it was when I had recently had a direct relationship with someone who battled with addiction on a visceral and all imcohmpassing way. Watching the sometimes seemingly helpless nature of it came through in a question, “If I come home fucked up would you love me?”. If you’ve ever lived with someone who has that kind of addiction answering that question can sometimes be very difficult. In the arrangement and production the goal was to capture the manic nature of ways this addiction can appear. Big smashing highs and swirling overwhelming lows.”

If I come home fucked up would you
Tell me a lie tell me I’m fine and that you still love me
If I decide to lie with my proof on my breathe
I’m trying my best but won’t you just hold me

Fiery crescendos and heart-on-sleeve outbursts from Cieri make this song an irresistible listen: The energy never stops rising, and resolve only comes in the track’s final moments.

The band conclude Sex, Addiction, & Everyone Else. with the tranquilizing, atmospheric overhaul “86000.” Nicotine Dolls’ dreamiest release to date tells a vivid story of late night haze and a fleeting feeling of nirvana: Momentary euphoria that comes and goes in an instant, but lasts long enough to remind us of life’s magical thrill and the beauty of all things. Cieri sings softly, his voice accompanied by an alluring array of synths and voices that come in and out like friendly ghosts – each one a wisp floating on the wind:

Can you go out tonight
Or do you make up excuses
Between being stupid
Or seeing somebody
That gives a shit about you
Stand in the back and be quiet
You can do that just be quiet
It’s not all about you be quiet
That’s a battle to lose
Words fall like water
Till I drown you in more of the
Shit you’ll ignore
From the back back back of my mind
And I’m watching a car crash
And I’m drunk behind the wheel
And here comes another one another moment to steal
Here comes another one
86000 chances to get it right to get it wrong to mess it up
Cigarettes I bum a thousand
Socially without them
I’m 16 got verbal vomit pain
Beer and wine is not the best mix
When you try to play a setlist with songs about being in your brain
Invited 15 of our friends
Only half of them they went
We save the night with cocaine on a rooftop in Brooklyn
Sitting next to Mackenzie

“It was 5 AM and we were on someone’s rooftop in Brooklyn all wearing sweaters we found in a trash bag,” Cieri says. “It was a late night show followed by a bit of drug use and a steady intake of drinks. There was a moment when we were all up on that rooftop going in and out of chatting and the sun came up through a grey cloudy day where it felt like it should always be that simple, I don’t feel that often. My social anxieties can be crippling and find ways to turn beautiful moments into terrifying nightmares. I tend to freeze and become paranoid that everyone hates me and they are all waiting for me to leave so they can talk about it. Which is not true but if I’m being honest most of the time I am very scared of people and what they can do. The song tries to lure you in with that feeling of coming down from the high of a night where it should be great but having that overpowering feeling that with every second going by there is an opportunity to get it right, get it wrong, or mess it up.”

Cieri’s voice rises as he recoils into himself, and a familiar wave insecurity and self-doubt washes over this newfound ecstasy – but even these feelings can’t get rid of this short, but dazzling paradise.

I fuck up a friendship
I find love then lose it
I’m so self-abusive
I fuck up a friendship
Find love then lose it
Why am I (self-abusive)
Words fall like water
Till I drown you in more of the
Shit you’ll ignore
From the back back back of my mind
And I’m watching a car crash
And I’m drunk behind the wheel
And here comes another one another moment to steal
Here comes another one
86000 chances to get it right to get it wrong to mess it up
All we got is all we got is…
All we got is just this moment
When I fuck up the friendship
Find love then lose it
I’m so self abusive with 86000 chances
to get it right to get it wrong to mess it up
In 86000…

Hauntingly sweet, “86000” finds some semblance of peace – and from its turbulent, beginnings, Sex, Addiction, & Everyone Else. finds its way to a bittersweet, satisfying end.

While it’s an undeniably exciting listen, there is no better way to experience Nicotine Dolls’ debut than through the band’s self-produced visual EP. In addition to music, Cieri has for many years been cutting his teeth via a production company he started with two friends. OutaLine Productions‘ stated mission is “to produce original, compelling work and opportunities for their creative community,” and that’s certainly been achieved across Nicotine Dolls’ video. A story of connection and disconnect, one’s relationship with others and oneself told through the distinct lenses of the EP’s three songs, this stunning visual brings the music’s turbulence to life through vivid depictions of isolation and loneliness, wonder and longing, togetherness and community… and more.

Sex, Addiction, & Everyone Else. is spellbinding. Life is messy and chaotic; this music captures finds order in that chaos, finding light in life’s darkest spaces. Nicotine Dolls have once again asserted themselves as one of NYC’s best acts, and it’s time the world got to know them and their music.

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Stream: ‘Sex, Addiction, & Everyone Else.’ – Nicotine Dolls




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Sex, Addiction, & Everyone Else. - Nicotine Dolls

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Nicotine Dolls’ Feverish “The Madness” Is an Alt-Rock Dream

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