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Cheekface and Meaningful Nonsense
Episode 614th December 2023 • Buried on Bandcamp • HVSPN
00:00:00 00:07:21

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Hopewell Valley Student Podcasting Network 

Show Name: Buried on Bandcamp

Episode Title: Cheekface and Meaningful Nonsense

Episode #6

Hey everyone! Welcome to the sixth episode of Buried on Bandcamp the podcast with your host Taylor.

In this episode, we will discuss Cheekface, their music, and their unique lyrics.

Segment 1: Cheekface

Cheekface is an indie rock band hailing from Los Angeles. They formed in 2017 and currently consist of Greg Katz on vocals and guitar, Amanda Tannen on bass guitar and backing vocals, and Mark Edwards on drums and percussion. The most defining feature of their music is their dry and usually monotone vocals. This sounds like a bad thing on paper, but it’s really fun and entertaining! It’s the reason why I like them. Coupled with their lyrics about societal dread and anxiety in a strange roundabout way, it makes it even better. Their lyrics are my favorite part of their music, and I think I’ve laughed out loud at some before, that’s how good they are. Not to discount the instrumental, either- my favorite songs of theirs are the ones with a particularly catchy background. It’s just that, like with most music, the vocals are the main focus, and in this case, they’re what makes Cheekface unique. And what made them popular- sorry to go against the idea of this podcast, but Cheekface is a good amount less obscure than other bands I’ve covered here. Sorry!

Segment 2: Their Discography

I know I just said they formed in 2017, but they spent their first year of existence writing music. Their writing process was mostly just trying to make each other laugh with their lyrics. They regularly released singles before officially putting out their first album, titled Therapy Island, on March 20th, 2019. I really like all the songs on this, but I’d have to say my favorites are I Only Say I’m Sorry When I’m Wrong Now and Eternity Leave. No particular reason, I just think it’s catchier than the others. I’m pretty sure it’s the most popular on the album, too. They repeated the same process, releasing singles until the next album was released. The next album would be called Emphatically No, released on January 11, 2021. This is, I believe, their most popular album, and how I discovered the band. I don’t think there’s a single mediocre song on here, I like all of them. The song that introduced me to them was “Listen to Your Heart.” “No.” I think this is their most popular song as well? It’s very fun and catchy, and a perfect epitome of what Cheekface is all about. I’ll talk about that later. I also especially like (I Don’t Want to Go To) Calabasas, Best Life, and Don’t Get Hit by a Car, the third of which contains one of my favorite set of lyrics ever: 

“Sometimes I wonder if a single good thing exists on Earth, and then I eat Cinnamon Toast Crunch”

Absolutely fantastic. After that, they released a few more singles and B-sides of Emphatically No, aptly titled Emphatically Mo’, which I think is very funny. My favorites are Reward Points and Friend Mountain; I really like the backing vocals in these. After that was a few more singles and two more albums: Too Much to Ask on August 2nd, 2022 and Don’t Ask on November 2nd of the same year, the latter being the B-sides version again. When Life Hands You Problems is without a doubt my favorite on either album, but I Feel So Weird! is a close second. I know I said their vocals are very monotone before, but they do yell a good bit sometimes, and both of those songs are examples of when they do, and it’s fantastic. It’s also worth mentioning they also do covers sometimes, my favorites of which are Ana Ng (original by They Might Be Giants) and Lauren (by Rosie Tucker). Since then, they’ve released a live album with their most popular songs, and some new singles supposedly leading up to another album, which I am very excited for.

Segment 3: Their Style

Like I said before, the main draw to Cheekface at least for me are their vocals. Greg Katz is great, the humor of the band shines in their lyrics. I mentioned the song “Listen to Your Heart.” “No.” before, and how it’s the epitome of everything Cheekface brings to the table. The lyrics in this one feel a bit more simple than their other songs? Very repetitive, especially in the chorus, which is just repeating a command followed by “no.” But the lyrics are... I don’t even know how to describe them. Reflective of real life in a kind of crummy society, while still being nonsensical and funny? “Bored of the dance, I laugh in spite of myself/What side of bread is the side with the butter on it?” All the lines in the verse about positive, self-care activities, suffixed by a simple, dry “no” is so simple but even I can relate to that little bit. And that’s just one song! There are so many lyrics from other songs that I think to myself, “Wow, that makes no sense.” And then I, to quote the song I Feel So Weird!: “Think about it... just think about it.” It can be surprisingly deep, for sounding so silly on the surface.

That’s all I’ve got for today! Hope you all enjoyed this. This has been your host Taylor, and I’ll see you on the next episode of Buried on Bandcamp. Bye!

Music Credits:

  • Breezy - mandimore
  • I Only Say I’m Sorry When I’m Wrong Now - Cheekface
  • When Life Hands You Problems - Cheekface
  • “Listen to Your Heart.” “No.” - Cheekface

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