think outside the cubicle WITH The Bushwick band’s debut single—”a ‘fuck you’ to the current state of the employment system”


If there’s one thing that wins me over, it’s a schtick—and it’s even better when it’s paired with music I legitimately love.

While I enjoyed the hell out of HYPEMOM‘s Concessions, for example, I was initially intrigued by + pumped on the ever-endearing, practically Pizza Roll-promising voice of the HYPEMOM persona, whose supportive-but-clueless caption style the trio has hilariously honed on Instagram over the last six months (an online presence I am forever thankful for).

Now on the band-theme front, I’m stoked to transition from licks-her-thumb-and-rubs-the-schmutz-off-your-face to, um, Office Space and (power)point you in the direction of CAREER BOY, a new(ish)-to-the-scene “detail oriented and microsoft office proficient boy band” specializing in what they’ve dubbed job rock—a genre I imagine sits at the intersection of water cooler and keg stand, where conference call meets crowdsurfing and the biz caszh-clad lead singer finishes the set by stage-diving into a pit of stapler-wielding strangers.

Or, um, something like that..


What I’m getting at is that we’re looking at—or listening to, rather—some very good music. The Bushwick band dropped their debut single in my inbox back in May (and on the world in early June) and I’ve been nothing short of obsessed since the very first listen. Now I’m stoked to stand up and (digitally) shout from the (virtual) rooftops about how much I love “What’s Next?”—and, best of all, share the puppy-starring piece of PURE JOY that is the accompanying music video.

Though the vibe of “What’s Next?” is fast, fun and makes me want to jump around with a plastic cup of cheap liquor in a sweaty sea of sharp elbows (sob!), the band means business, and along with an exciting energy, there’s some serious substance to the song, which the Career Boy boys recently explained to me over email:

“With ‘What’s Next?’ we took a step back from the constant crush of daily life, pausing to consider the things we wanted, the kind of world we’d like to live in. Does that desk job really make you happy? Is that next promotion going to? So much of our lives are spent working toward the next thing; ignoring how we feel in the moment, assuming that where we’re headed is going to be better and telling ourselves we’ll be happy when we get there – even when we don’t know where ‘there’ is. This space of working hard and blind can be a really toxic one and just so happens to be exactly where your employer wants you.

In this sense, “What’s Next?” is a way of saying ‘fuck you’ to the current state of the employment system and the precarious way in which it forces people to live. So many struggle under the burden of two or more jobs and even those fortunate enough to obtain fulltime work find themselves endlessly treading water; beholden to their employers for everything. It’s a fucking lease on life. If you’re let go you own nothing. You don’t even have health insurance. It’s a cruel way of life and an outdated system, one we hope to change with whatever comes next.”

There you have it.

As the end of Q-Whatever approaches, I’ll conclude this (performance) review as follows: While the Career Boy schtick may be good, the music and its meaning are even better, and I personally (+ professionally?) can’t wait to find out… well, what’s next.


Check out Career Boy on Instagram at @careerboyy, snap up the song on Bandcamp and add it to all of your playlists on Spotify.

Feature image provided by the band.

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