Cheekface – Best Life

everything is normal / everything is normal / everything is normal / everything is normal” Cheekface have played with mantra-like simplicity on previous tracks, but none quite so effectively as here on the trio’s new track, “Best Life”

In songwriter Gregg Katz’s continuing quest for the authentic self in the disingenuous culture we have landed here. A track with a meandering narrative. A response to a job listing that isn’t really about a response to a job listing. Cheekface cascade through the contemporary scene of remote workers, the creative drive, and the unusual compass that spins toward and away from success. Anecdotal evidence smudges against the imagined inner lives of those we observe.

Yeah, yeah, yeah. We get it, the song’s a simple riff on the malcontent state of things. Actually, no.

Therapy is referenced here, as it often is (sometimes explicitly, sometimes through inference) and we hear as Katz adjusts his reaction to things. That opening refrain of “everything is normal” closes the track too, and it’s this lyrical bookend that shows the unassuming genius that Cheekface so frequently achieve.

The emotional intelligence that Cheekface demand of their listeners is refreshing. Katz sings up, not down to people, and if his choruses are affecting it’s because they hit a register that makes intuitive sense, as well as hitting melodic surprise. The cowbell doesn’t hurt the process.

Amanda Tannen’s work on bass needs a shout out. The deceptively simply riff lends texture to the dynamic. If you listen to the track you may not be immediately seized by Tannen’s presence. However, if you listen to the bass you hear all of the track. This is how high art happens. Strokes are concealed – light is played with. We are all made of light. Everything is normal.

Long may Cheekface continue to place themselves in these uncomfortable positions – seeking out the tipping point in a track, exploring the truth of their world with radical vulnerability, and singing along to the absurdity of having a heart and a brain. The best life.

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