Cheekface – “Next To Me (Yo Guy Version)”

Cheekface – “Next To Me (Yo Guy Version)”

Cheekface’s theatrical indie rock anthems are whimsical and entertaining in a way that can make the experience of listening to their music feel like watching a game show. January’s album Emphatically No. began with a Parquet Courts-esque song with the same deadpan delivery that packs existential ideas into little quips: “I’m pulling weeds/ The weeds are just some art I made/ My canvas for anxiety.”

Their new song, “Next To Me (Yo Guy Version),” is jangly and charming. The inspiration behind the song, though, explains how the band is talented at instilling life into the mundane. Read what bandleader Greg Katz said about that:

Yo Guy was, and possibly still is, a real person. One time when I was in New York City, I crashed at my friend Paige’s apartment on Eastern Parkway in Crown Heights, Brooklyn. I couldn’t sleep because someone was yelling ‘Yo!’ all night outside, over and over. When I woke up, Paige was like, ‘How did you sleep?’ And I was like, ‘I’m not sure if I dreamt this, but I think there was someone yelling something over and over outside.’ And she was like, ‘Oh, was the Yo Guy out there? The only thing worse than him yelling YO! all night is when my neighbor yells SHUT THE FUCK UP! every time he says yo.’ I guess it kind of blew my mind that this was a regular thing, so regular that the person had gotten a nickname, and the nickname was Yo Guy. So that was the genesis of this song idea. My friend Paige passed away a couple years ago. Me and Mandy wrote this song last year over Zoom. Most of last year I’d rather forget, but at least we got this song out of it. Paige, and Yo Guy, will live forever in my heart, and I guess now in this song too.

Listen to “Next To Me (Yo Guy Version)” below, and stream their record from earlier this year beneath that.

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