Today's Song of the Day, as chosen by Larry Mizell, Jr., host of The Afternoon Show on KEXP, is "Reward Points" by Cheekface, from the 2021 Emphatically Mo' (b-sides) EP on New Professor Music.
Los Angeles-based trio Cheekface specialize in quirky, upbeat songs with sharp-as-a-whip, sardonic lyrics delivered in talk-sing by frontman Greg Katz, seemingly (obviously?) influenced by Stephen Malkmus. (Sample line from a different track: "Life is long / like a CVS receipt.") But don't let their buoyant punk-pop and the colorful cover art by bassist/vocalist Amanda Tannen fool you. Cheekface was formed in the wake of the 2017 presidential inauguration, and lyrics touch on anxiety, political discourse, and protest culture.
"It's a challenge to write something meaningful when our terrible fascist government is destroying people's lives," Katz told The Grey Estates. "Personally, part of why I wanted to start this project was the desire to create something while the government is so destructive. Obviously the lyrics go to political places, and hopefully they capture some of the moral confusion that intelligent people are facing right now. But I also don't want the lyrics to be heavy-handed – I like heavy-handed political lyrics a lot actually, but with so much darkness in the world, we're not trying to add any more darkness with this particular band.
Today's Song of the Day — a catchy ode to consumption — comes from their latest EP Emphatically Mo', a collection of b-sides from their 2021 full-length Emphatically No.