Atticus Reynolds, a senior music major, is releasing his first full-length project, EMIT EP, today.
The tracks on this EP combine many aspects of different genres of music.
“It has the same rhythms of post-bop in the ‘50s or ‘60s, but it has this futuristic timbre to it,” Reynolds said.
The EP contains themes of time, nostalgia for the jazz era and looking back to move forward.
“Basically, EMIT is just time backwards,” he said. “There’s kind of a theme through the record sometimes.”
Breton Nicholas, another senior music major, mixed, mastered and engineered the record.
“I think one of the things that’s interesting is you have this old style swing, and you’re sort of influencing the old with newer things,” Nicholas said. “I think that’s probably what gives it its sound.”
The lineup also includes musicians from outside of UNC: Alan Thompson on the soprano saxophone, Russell Favret on the guitar and Philip Norris on the bass.
Thompson and Favret are both deeply entrenched in the Durham music scene.
“Both Russell and Allen are in this band called Zoocrü that’s like a Durham, kind of hip-hop fusion group that has a lot of different influences,” Reynolds said. “But they kind of have been taking off more in this year and Russell is also the touring guitarist for Rapsody. She was on Kendrick’s album, she’s super popular.”
Not only are outside musicians on the EP, but a former UNC student as well; Aiko Richter, a UNC class of 2016 graduate, plays the violin on one of the tracks.
And a potential future UNC student: 16-year-old Pittsboro dancer Jabu Graybeal is featured tap dancing.
“They gave me a set of headphones and I just jammed out,” Graybeal said. “We recorded my feet about four times, and they chose what recordings they liked the most.”
Reynolds said the history of tap dancers improvising over jazz music goes back to the 1930s and ’40s.
“What we did is we took this little sample from in between two tracks and then made a beat out of it, looped it and put some other stuff on top and had him improvise over it,” Reynolds said.
The process of recording and mixing has been going on since late July, Reynolds said. His favorite track on the EP is called “Malcontent.”
He said that he wrote four chords for an introduction that he gave to Favret, who then fleshed it out.
“Russell really brought that to life in a way that I didn’t really expect,” Reynolds said. “Because I write most of it on piano, when you give it to a guitarist it changes a lot.”
Nicholas said he doesn’t have a particular favorite track.
“Listen to the whole record, don’t just listen to one track,” he said. When asked to describe the EP, Nicholas simply called it “good as fuck.”
Reynolds said the EP will be released on Bandcamp and Soundcloud today. In a few weeks, he said he will also put it on Spotify and iTunes.
There is an album release party tonight at The Shed in downtown Durham from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m.
Seattle artist Naomi Moon Siegel will be opening.