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The Achordants bring their “A-game” in new EP

The UNC Achordants perform during their 2016 fall concert "(Not So) Superheroes." Photo courtesy of Brett Buchman. 

The UNC Achordants perform during their 2016 fall concert "(Not So) Superheroes." Photo courtesy of Brett Buchman. 

Some of these favorites include “Sunday Candy” by Chance the Rapper, “Work Song” by Hozier and “Pusher Love Girl” by Justin Timberlake.

The group’s president, junior Brett Buchman, said the men wanted to find a way to put out more music more often in a less expensive way.

“It’s really expensive and it takes a lot of time to put out big albums every few years, and we don’t get as good of a taste of a lot of our songs,” he said. “So we really wanted to make sure the guys got to be on something so that they could hear themselves and one day be able to show their kids.”

Buchman said the EP, which will probably be released in the fall, will likely have six or seven songs which the men picked out from previous performances because they had fun performing them and got good reception from audiences.

Reese McDonald, a junior mathematical decision sciences major, joined the Achordants last fall and said he was excited to be able to sing for a recording for the first time.

“We’re just taking baby steps at it, even taking some of the older guys who have left the group to come back and record their solo parts,” he said.

One of the most important people to come back to Chapel Hill to record is the music producer and audio engineer, Colin Egan, a Chapel Hill native who said he’s always been a fan of the Achordants.

“Throughout my wife’s time at UNC, I befriended a lot of the members of the Achordants and have stayed friends with them throughout my adult life,” he said.

For his work with the Achordants, Egan said the recording sessions have been taking place in a Chapel Hill apartment with blankets on the walls — a “poor man’s studio,” as he calls it.

“One of the things I love about the group is the energy they perform with and how much fun they have with each other,” he said. “I’m really working to capture that feeling and that sound on the record.”

The group’s music director, Karthik Sundaram, said he tries to do the same thing in his daily work with the ensemble.

“I have to make sure I distribute who is going to arrange those songs and working through rehearsal on how we’re going to shape that music in how we perform it,” he said. “But the whole idea is that we want to be able to listen back to these and remember 30 years from now, ‘I remember recording that song, it was really cool.’”

The group was founded in 2001 as a group based on being different, according to Buchman. He said that the singers try to focus on balancing between making good music and having fun, not taking themselves too seriously.

Sundaram, a senior, said that he wants to help progress the group before he leaves, but is excited for the direction in which the men are going.

“I’m excited to see the guys grow and shine through,” he said.


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