Los Angeles rockers Cheekface are keeping the Cheek Freaks fed, sharing another new single Tuesday, “Next to Me (Yo Guy Version).” The band has a U.S. tour set for the fall in support of their acclaimed sophomore album Emphatically No., and this is the second single they’ve released since their record’s release in January, after April’s “We Need a Bigger Dumpster.”
Cheekface frontman Greg Katz says of the band’s new track:
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.
As is typical of Cheekface tunes, “Next to Me (Yo Guy Version)” has a broken heart and tongue in cheek both—Katz evokes that bittersweetness right off the bat, starting the first verse, “My heart has hiccups, there’s no relief.” Upbeat guitar riffage, cowbell and a repeated Pavement reference buoy Katz’s rueful remembrances of his departed friend (“I liked it better when you were standing next to me”), with a rad guitar solo to top it all off. That’s Cheekface for you—they just have this way of putting a smile on your face.
Listen to “Next to Me (Yo Guy Version)” below and see Cheekface’s tour dates further down.
Cheekface Tour Dates:
22 – Seattle @ The Vera Project
23 – Portland @ Doug Fir Lounge
25 – Boise @ Treefort Music Festival
02 – Los Angeles @ The Echo
09 – Philadelphia @ PhilaMOCA
10 – Boston @ Sonia
11 – Brooklyn @ Zone One
13 – Washington, DC @ Songbyrd
14 – Pittsburgh @ The Funhouse at Mr. Smalls
15 – Columbus @ Big Room
16 – Chicago @ Schubas