Cheekface is an indie rock trio from Los Angeles consisting of guitarist/singing person Greg Katz, bassist/other singing person Amanda Tannen and drummer Mark “Echo” Edwards. It’s a band obviously influenced by the great American talk-singers like Lou Reed, Jonathan Richman and Stephen Malkmus, British post-punk bands like Wire and The Fall, and proto-indie bands like The dB’s and Minutemen. But Cheekface chart their own course with their self-effacing, openhearted lyrics that set the mundanity of daily life against the backdrop of our chaotic world, as in the memorable “Best Life,” when Katz blurts out, “Due to personal reasons, I said nothing in therapy / we just laughed and laughed and laughed and laughed and laughed!”
The story starts in 2018, when the band’s second single “Dry Heat/Nice Town,” a playful pub rock tune about leftist protest culture, created an underground hubbub. It anchored the band’s debut album Therapy Island, released by the New Professor label in March 2019. In the wake of that album, Cheekface’s followup singles and singalong, everyone-in-the-audience-climbs-on-the-stage shows created a word-of-mouth cult around the band’s sideways lyrics, catchy choruses, and windows-down grooves.
Over the course of 2019 and 2020 Cheekface recorded their sophomore LP Emphatically No., released in January 2021 on New Professor. Paste Magazine called the record “essential listening” and it bowed as Bandcamp’s top-selling alternative album.