Last Friday, verb/re/verb curated a YOUTH mixtape of teenage artists covering songs that shaped their childhoods not long past. The first track, by Teenage Reverb, is a wordless Backstreet Boys cover. Their take on “Get Down” matches neither the emotional tone, the tempo nor the chord progression, really, of the original. Instead, the Boys’ opening a cappella, once three seconds of high energy, stretches softly over three minutes, recast as holy moans over a plodding, crackling bass line. Pitching down pervades the mix’s electronic tracks. The reverb stays heavy, like on Galapagos’ echoey take on N’Sync, or Kynan’s ecstatic “Purple Rain” cover. The stricter rock songs brim with the same technical energy, from Faux Fur’s basement-busting Loverboy cover to Catwalk’s closing Alvin and The Chipmunks sharp tambourine waltz. If anything unites these nine songs sonically, it’s in their unmistakable mastery of forward-sounding production. Eloise, who compiled the mix and runs verb/re/verb, is 15, about to be 16. Mega credit to her for the wickedly prolific site; 200 words into this post, calling her work "forward" is already overdue. In my last Tripwire, I gushed over Zoo Kid and the sentiment is worth repeating: “If 2011 is truly on some new shit, it’ll be found in the babies.” It’s exciting that there’s a Sufjan Stevens cover on here, that growing up on Backstreet turns out like this.
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