We haven’t enjoyed The Chipmunks’ particular brand of music since we were still buying cassettes with our allowance, but thanks to one Canadian musician’s drastic modification, we’re coming back around. And fast! Or, slow, rather.
Toronto’s Brian Borcherdt recently recorded a few of the Chipmunks classics (the ’80s Chipmunks, not these new CGI monsters your kids are into) on an old suitcase record player at a slower speed of 16 RPM, and the resulting 6-8 minute songs, all available on Soundcloud, are shockingly good.
People have been playing music at a faster tempo to make it sound like The Chipmunks for years. It’s fun for about nine seconds, and then the high-pitch vocals usually get to you—unless you’re a seven-year-old, in which case it’s fun for hours. But this moody sludge pop? We can work with this.
Heaven Is A Place On Earth isn’t so much Belinda Carlyle as a mournful Beach Boys. You Keep Me Hanging On sounds ’80s epic with ’90s vocals. The first singer sounds like pretty much any rock frontman in the ’90s, and the other remarkably like South Park’s Cartman. Walk Like an Egyptian is like a straight up nightmare—the titular chorus line being drawn out so long as to almost sound comical. “Walk. Like. An. E. Gyp. Tian.”
There’s also shades of Tom Waits, Toto and even a bit of Weird Al in there, too.
Making upbeat songs slow and moody is kind of a thing right now—just ask Ryan Adams—but this is just brilliant in its simplicity.