Alt-Pop/Rock Group NICOTINE DOLLS Drop Electric New EP ‘How Do You Love Me’

December 8, 2023 BY Bailey Vigliaturo

Nicotine Dolls make the kind of music you can’t hide from. The storytelling is front-and-center, beckoning your attention like a dusty old novel you can’t put down until the last page. After generating over 20 million total streams, consistently selling out shows, breaking into the Billboard charts, the NYC alt-pop/rock band tells their story on their new EP How Do You Love Me, out now. Forming in 2017, the group consists of lead singer Sam Cieri, guitarist John Hays, bassist John Merritt, and drummer Abel Tabares.

“The goal with this project was to try to not sound like anything else,” says Sam “It didn’t matter if what we were doing was ‘proper’. It mattered if it felt good. I hear music as sporadic sounds that I can see. That’s what I wanted the record to have. We disregarded the attempts to fit into a playlist. It’s taken a very long time to understand that Nicotine Dolls simply sound like Nicotine Dolls, and it’s something we’re confident in.”

Already receiving recognition from the likes of Billboard, How Do You Love Me includes previous releases like the title track “How Do You Love Me,” the kinetic “Slip,” and the heart-wrenching “Real House.” This personal and reflective EP contains the band’s typical raw grittiness, stand-out vocals, and lyrics that evoke emotion unlike anything you’ve ever felt. 

Then, there’s “30 Somehow,” today’s new stark soundscape that underlines harrowing emotional lyrics. 

“It’s about me in my thirties,” says Sam. “It’s not good, it’s not bad, but it is the oldest I’ve ever been. I was thinking about my life. My dad and I don’t talk anymore because of his drinking. He has cancer, and my grandma has cancer. I’m still not where I want to be professionally. However, I’m becoming more aware and appreciative as to how incredible my mom is. I appreciate my sister and niece. Here are the negative things and here are the positive things. When I was in my 20s I romanticized a short life and now that I’ve made it past that point, I attempt to romanticize the opposite.”

The group has steadily released singles and EPs since 2019 and developed a loyal social media community, including over 1 million TikTok followers. In July 2022, lead singer Sam appeared on America’s Got Talent. Despite the viral audition, they decided not to pursue the show. Nicotine Dolls deliver a safe space in their music for those suffering from heartbreak, anxiety, and depression and those looking for hope. 

“The music is uncomplicated and unpretentious…It’s also unapologetically romantic. It’s just life.”