MIAMI – Local musician Harry Corbin, the experienced songwriter and guitarist of veteran pop-punk band The Restless Jets, has finished recording what experts project to be this decade’s most timeless, memorable song for suburban listeners aged 11 to 16, a new high point in the 43-year-old’s career.
“Halfpipe Babe,” detailing the story of an adolescent male’s crush on a popular female skateboarder during summer break, has been hailed as “totally relatable” and “good shit” by teenage test audiences despite the fact that Corbin, a classically-trained musician and father of two, is closer to retirement age than teen age.
“Creating art authentic to the teenage experience is a struggle, but I have methods to help me,” said Corbin from his mid-century ranch home. “You just gotta hit the three key points of any teenage anthem: hating authority, dreaming of the future, and overwhelming horniness.”
Once those themes are in place, Corbin claims, he just has to pepper in specific details – “skateboarding, eating burritos, and so on” – and get The Restless Jets to back it with “three power chords and a neat little synth riff.”
“I always make extra sure to mention cell phones, emojis, and other bullshit like that,” said the lyricist who recently received the first of his now-annual prostate exams. “We didn’t have those when I was 16, so it’s easy to forget to put ‘em in.”
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“Corbin’s skills for brilliant, youthful lyrics are no accident,” said longtime Restless Jets manager Vanessa Wang, who encourages the band to write teen-focussed songs due to the market’s stability and ubiquity. “It’s something we in the ‘biz call ‘the Matthew McConaughey Rule,’” she added. “There will always be teenagers to buy music like this.”
Wang projects online views for “Halfpipe Babe” to reach hundreds of millions, largely comprised of a dependable audience of teenage viewers and flustered adults watching to see what all the fuss is about.
Despite his song’s near-certain popularity and profitability, Corbin’s efforts to make direct contact with his audience have been a non-starter. “I ask my teenage daughter what she thinks of my songs, and she tells me she hates it. Such a typical teenage attitude, isn’t it?” he said. Sources close to the family report that Becky Corbin, 15, “prefers listening to Chillwave.”
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