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Standout Track: No. 10, “Shivers vs. Giggles,” a portrait of college angst set to trumpet, xylophone, and a four-chord guitar part. Singer Chris DeWitt, 22, impressionistically describes the feeling that he’s going nowhere: “If you have to walk back down that hill/Like Sisyphus, forever young/Leaves are falling and, you know/It’s getting late, you better run.”
Musical Motivation: DeWitt, a senior at American University, wrote the song as a freshman. “I was outside with these people I didn’t really like,” he says. “They were giggling, and I was shivering.” That moment of alienation inspired the tune’s lyrics, but Patrick J. LeMieux, who mixed the album, provided the song’s peppy trumpet melody—without asking for DeWitt’s permission first. The frontman felt the new trumpet part was “too jazzy” but ultimately decided to keep it. In the same spirit of compromise, LeMieux let DeWitt record four tracks of the band singing the trumpet tune, for a crowd-singalong effect at the end of the track.
We Aren’t Wolves: Brass-haters take heart—there’ll be no trumpet at Sweet Teeth’s upcoming show at DC9. Instead of trumpet and xylophone players, the band now has a more traditional lineup: two guitarists and a drummer. As a result, “Shivers vs. Giggles”—and all the band’s songs—have more of a rock edge. DeWitt says that approach better matches his vocal style. “With the old lineup, we always played sitting down, looking kind of sad, and then there was this kid in the middle, just howling,” says DeWitt. “People must have wanted to know, what’s this guy howling for?”
Sweet Teeth plays DC9 Thursday, March 20.