Philly Song of the Week: “Nose to Nose” by Riverby

I miss lipstick. Not going anywhere and the onset of masking in the past year made painting my mouth nonsensical. I always felt a rush of empowerment while wearing lipstick because I thought I wore it for me and me only. It wasn’t until I heard the lyrics: “And I only wore this lipstick hoping you could take it off,” did I have to put my makeup wearing under a microscope and come to terms with what I actually missed. The line’s vulnerability in its admission is an act of agency and ownership I would have never considered.

Those lyrics come from “Nose to Nose” by punch-pop band Riverby. Vocalist August Greenberg’s voice teeters between soft and guttural while consistently sounding clean on the track. The wailing guitar riffs sound so intentional and give a fresh whiff of late 90’s to early 2000’s punk.

“Nose to Nose” appears on the band’s debut album “Smart Mouth,” a title that is fittingly too on the nose with lines such as “I’m too pretty to feel this bad.” The song’s lyrics, much like the rest of the album, read as an act of rewriting the heartbreak and decisions made outside of our control in order to gain autonomy. Riverby’s sound will resonate with fans of Cayetana, Hole, Adventures, and My Chemical Romance.


As hot girl summer (or white boy summer, if you so prefer) approaches and maskless opportunities present themselves, find me blasting this track with my windows down all season long onward to my next destination. I’ll don red on my mouth for reasons to be determined, but either way, this time I’ll consciously own my intentions. 

Each week, the Philly Plain Dealer highlights an artist in the Philly music scene. If you have a favorite song by a Philadelphia artist, submit it by tweeting to @PlainPhilly.

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