Premiere: Papi Shiitake Don a Weary “Smile” in Dreamy Shoegaze Anthem

Papi Shiitake
A weary, dreamy shoegaze anthem, Papi Shiitake’s sophomore single “Smile” is a visceral emotional upheaval dwelling in dark, intimate depths.
Stream: “Smile” – Papi Shiitake




A heavy and hypnotic overhaul, Papi Shiitake’s sophomore single is a visceral emotional upheaval.

Don’t be fooled by its name: “Smile” is not a happy song, but it is sure to provide all who listen with catharsis, connection, and some sense of relief. Dwelling in dark, intimate depths, Papi Shiitake’s “Smile” is a weary, dreamy shoegaze anthem of feeling not good enough – of being lost, drowning in the sea of life, having to just keep pushing onward and moving forward.

Quarantine Dream - Papi Shiitake

Quarantine Dream – Papi Shiitake

I feel like garbage left in the sun
Foolishly waiting what have I done
But if I do what I think I should do
I forget the words that once got me through
Cause I think too much
I work too hard, I feel so much
I can’t feel love
I wait too long I have to say
Daylight
daylight can stay night
Daylight
daylight can stay night

Atwood Magazine is proud to be premiering “Smile,” Papi Shiitake’s sophomore single since the band introduced themselves earlier this month with the hazy late-summer indulgence, “Enjoy the View.” The Brooklyn-based duo of (indie pop/rock band) Best Behavior’s Alex Gruenburg (a.k.a Young Tuxx) and his writing partner Ryan Sieloff, Papi Shiitake make immersive and compelling alternative music that is all-too perfect for 2020’s isolation state.

“Smile” follows “Enjoy the View” as the second release off Papi Shiitake’s upcoming debut EP Quarantine Dream, out later this fall via Trash Casual Records. Self-describing their music as “a morning spent in bed on the beach” or “a cold breeze on a summer afternoon,” Papi Shiitake’s music is one part Red Hot Chili Peppers, one part Best Coast, one part Radiohead, and more: A blend of psychedelia and grunge with deep alternative roots, committed to creating an experience for all who listen. Written and recorded during the COVID-19 lockdown, their debut EP is “about dealing with mental health issues during quarantine, especially those that have troubled you your entire life that become magnified in the conditions that we find ourselves in today.”

Papi Shiitake

Papi Shiitake © 2020



It could have come out at any time, and it would have been meaningful – but releasing now, “Smile” speaks to a deep truth in our collective and individual present day. Young Tuxx’s pained voice melts over a mellow, reverb-laden soundscape:

Therapy condolences held by a thread
Coffee cup in hand walking back to my bed
Can you be true? I wish that I knew
The question that keeps coming back
Does everybody bloom but you
Cause I think too much
I work too hard, I feel so much
I can’t feel love
I take too long I have to say
Daylight
daylight can stay night (smile)
Daylight
daylight can stay night (smile)

“When I wrote ‘Smile’, I had just seen my therapist and I was just kind of done… with everything,” Young Tuxx tells Atwood Magazine. “I got home and started singing the opening line, “I feel like garbage left in the sun”. ‘Smile’ is about feeling like you’re not good enough and having to face the day anyway. The song is fun and bouncy, but the lyrics are actually quite sad. It’s a visceral feeling that really resonates with people, especially in 2020.”

The brilliance of “Smile” is that, as delightful as it is to listen to on repeat, the song is inescapably bittersweet and poignant.

Its tenderness comes from a recognition of our utter humanity: That pain and hardship are an inherent part of the human experience, especially in this moment. Here is a band who are unafraid of telling it like it is: Who are willing, able, and ready to wear their hearts on their sleeves without overwhelming their audience.

Stream “Smile” exclusively on Atwood Magazine and stay tuned for the full Quarantine Dream EP, out this fall!

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Stream: “Smile” – Papi Shiitake



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Quarantine Dream - Papi Shiitake

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Mitch Mosk

Mitch is the Editor-in-Chief of Atwood Magazine and a 2014 graduate from Tufts University, where he pursued his passions of music and psychology. He currently works at Universal Music Group in New York City. In his off hours, Mitch may be found songwriting, wandering about one of New York's many neighborhoods, or writing an article on your next favorite artist for Atwood. Mitch's words of wisdom to fellow musicians and music lovers are thus: Keep your eyes open and never stop exploring. No matter where you go, what you do or who you are with, you can always learn something new and inspire something amazing. Say hi here: mitch[at]atwoodmagazine[dot]com