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Music / The Chalkeaters

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The Chalkeaters is a three-person music group based on St. Petersburg, Russia. It consists of Alios (songwriter and music video director), Masel (audio engineer and arranger), and Ergy (main guitarist and arranger). Aside from the trio, they regularly collaborated with other musicians, mostly vocal artists to sing their lyrics. They have been making songs since 2019.

Perhaps the one thing they are most famous for is their satirical and comedic songs about video games and gaming culture in general, accompanied with distinctly styled animated music videos. Their topics range from public figures like Todd Howard and Gabe Newell, to internet phenomenons and memes. They have a group of animators and artists under their umbrella who contribute towards the music videos.

Their YouTube channel can be found here.


■ Discography

  • "Bowsette" [feat. M-G UniNew and Nekro G] (2019)
  • "It Just Works" [feat. Kyle Wright] (2019)
  • "Breathtaking" [feat. Natalia Natchan] (2019)
  • "Doom Crossing: Eternal Horizons" [feat. Natalia Natchan] (2020)
  • "Lock Me Up (Quarantine Song)" [feat. Idrise] (2020)
  • "It's a Gamer's Christmas" [feat. Natalia Natchan] (2020)
  • "Count to Three" [feat. The Stupendium and Ellen McLain] (2021)

■ Tropes relating to the Chalkeaters' songs and videos include:

  • Arc Number: "Count to Three" has the number 3, obviously. The word "three" is said a total of 3 times in the song, and both the single release and YouTube animation cap at 2:59, just shy of the 3 minute mark.
  • Art Shift: The music video for "Doom Crossing: Eternal Horizons" constantly switches between two different art styles for the Animal Crossing and DOOM universes, whenever Isabelle and Doomguy travels between the two.
  • Advertisement:
  • Bland-Name Product: E3 in this universe is renamed to "F3", which stands for Fan Frustration Festival.
  • Call-Back: The flying pink puppies from "Breathtaking" make a brief re-appearance in "Count to Three", as seen through the window that Gabe peers into at one point in the video.
  • The Cameo: The real Gabe Newell himself cameos at the very beginning and end of the "Count to Three" music video, fitting given the song is about him and Valve as a whole. The song itself also features Ellen McLain, reprising her role as GLaDOS from the Portal series.
  • Christmas Songs: "It's a Gamer's Christmas", which showcases Christmas through the lens of your average gamer.
  • Crossover Ship: Invoked in "Doom Crossing: Eternal Horizons", which depicts a platonic one between Isabelle and Doomguy, the latter visiting the former's world and the two quickly becoming great friends.
  • Genre Roulette: Most of their songs have genres that completely differ from each other. Notable entries include "Bowsette" (chiptune rock with rap), "It Just Works" (big band jazz), and "Count to Three" (electro swing).
  • A God Am I: Played for Laughs with Todd Howard in "It Just Works"; at one point he even subtly replaced the word "God" with his own name.
    Our devs could eat the Shadowmere alive, SO BUY SKYRIM ONE MORE TODD-DAMN TIME!
  • Hold Up Your Score: One short scene in the "Doom Crossing: Eternal Horizons" music video has Isabelle and others rate Doomguy's unicorn costume this way. Isabelle gave it a 10, naturally.
  • Incorruptible Pure Pureness: Keanu Reeves is portrayed as this in the song "Breathtaking".
  • Lighter and Softer: "Count to Three", which riffs against Gabe Newell and Valve, is notably more hopeful and lighthearted than its spiritual prequel, "It Just Works". The trio has said that they originally wanted to make a darker toned song similar to "It Just Works", but they eventually ended up making it "more motivating than punishing".
  • Lucky Charms Title: Not for the song titles themselves, but their YouTube video titles are partitioned with squares ("■"), as part of the branding.
  • Mood Whiplash: "Doom Crossing: Eternal Horizons" starts off with a calming ukulele melody not too different from the songs you'd find in Animal Crossing, and then it quickly switches into heavy metal once Isabelle crosses over to Doomguy's universe.
  • Musical Nod: The Chalkeaters have a knack for incorporating the music of the source materials into their songs:
    • The beginning of "Bowsette" samples the Castle Theme from Super Mario Bros.
    • The main melody of "Doom Crossing: Eternal Horizons" directly quotes the main theme for Animal Crossing: New Horizons.
    • GLaDOS' part of the song "Count to Three" references "Want You Gone", the ending song of Portal 2 and also sung by GLaDOS herself.
  • Rule of Three: "Count to Three" has this in spades:
    • The word "three" is said only three times in the song.
    • The line "This time you're bound to count to" or variants of that line often appear in sets of three.
    • The song's runtime is a humorous subversion, clocking in at 2:59.
  • Subverted Rhyme Every Occasion: "Count to Three", which teases Valve's apparent inability to release a game with "3" in its name, has Gabe Newell singing this at one point:
    I had it all but tried new things, true
    It didn't get us very far
    Between controllers and machines, you
    Still picked a rusty old crowbar
    Nobody sees beyond my charming self
    A soul that's never truly free
    So just for once, forget the summer sale
    And give it up for
    Half-Life... Alyx
  • Take That!:
    • "It Just Works" is one against Todd Howard and Bethesda Game Studios, given their releases and business practices which didn't bode really well.
    • Aside from the obvious pokes at Gabe Newell and Valve in "Count to Three", at one point Gabe sings how Valve might "end up on the other side" if he doesn't do right by fans. The "other side" shown consists of Ubisoft, EA, and Activision.
  • Tough Act to Follow: In-Universe, it's the reason Gabe stated as to why Valve's never made any third follow-up to his games — he fears that anything less than outstanding will bring major scrutiny against him and Valve.
    The numbers are intimidating, it's hard to give a fresh new start
    When everyone's anticipating another masterpiece of art
  • Villain Love Song: "Bowsette" is partly sung from the perspective of the titular character, proclaiming that all her evil schemes are attempts to get Mario's affection, and that Princess Peach doesn't really care about him, but she does.
  • Villain Song: "It Just Works" is this for Todd Howard, here portrayed as a swanky con man who sings about how he doesn't care about fan backlash and negative feedback, and that he'll make the same games over and over, while putting little effort into them and overcharging for everything, all because people are gonna buy the games anyway and that "it just works" for him. It's set to a catchy big-band tune, although halfway through, it switches to a very solemn chant, with a chorus of Bethesda fans singing about how they don't want the same tricks all the time. But Howard totally ignores them, and the music picks back up as he goes back to singing about how his strategy works.
  • Who's Laughing Now?: Said verbatim by Todd Howard at the end of "It Just Works".

"Thank you and have fun!"

Video Example(s):


Count to... Alyx?

The Chalkeaters' "Count to Three", which teases Gabe Newell and Valve's inability to make a third numbered installment to any of their franchises, reimagines the announcement for Half-Life Alyx.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (8 votes)

Example of:

Main / SubvertedRhymeEveryOccasion

Media sources:

Main / SubvertedRhymeEveryOccasion