The Vocal Company Blog

#FamFeature: Berklee's Pitch Slapped 

Posted by AJ Marino on Apr 4, 2018 11:05:00 AM

From The Sing Off to the ICCA Finals Stage, Pitch Slapped has been a household name in a cappella for over a decade.  People have always loved them for their classic black and white elegance and ability to turn basically any pop hit into a legendary, jazz-infused bop. 

Pitch Slapped recorded their debut album, The Good Life, long before any current member was in the group. The new faces of PS had honored the legacy, but after 4 years without an album, they knew this was their time to show the world what their voices had brought to the table.

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Looking back at their decision making process, president Brandon Critchfield remembers "we were looking for producers that that were going to honor our sound as a group. We spend a lot of time working through every detail of our arrangements, and especially since all of our songs are arranged by our own members, there's a lot of personal sentiment and investment involved in our music." After years of chatting with Dave during Boston-area soundchecks, the group realized the producers here who had been watching them for years might be the perfect fit. 

 

 

After a few meetings over coffee at Pavement, the time came to start planning a brand new Pitch Slapped album - something both the group and the a cappella world had been waiting on for a long time. Rather than just record at Berklee, the group voted to make the trek to Sled Dog Studios, toughing out a Rochester winter and bunking in with Angela Longo and Peter Yang. 

"The recording process at Sled Dog was something I don't think anyone from our group will ever forget." Brandon remembers. "It was a wonderful retreat, filled with late nights and laughter. It was amazing, listening back to each other after we recorded and taking turns going into the multiple booths while playing games in the living room or the basement. It was such a vibe, and such a hang."

The relationship and connection both the producers and the group had to the project was instant. "[Ang and Peter] made a space that was so conducive to spontaneous creation and vulnerability...they came in with such a vibrant energy, and voiced support for us and our group. That made all the difference to us. Throughout the process, there were creative suggestions thrown into the mix and offered to soloists that many made it onto the record!" 

(I lovingly call those ideas Riffs by Peter Yang,™ who seriously considered applying to Berklee and becoming an alto in Pitch Slapped after learning every single part.)

Once the process was over, Pitch Slapped turned to the visual and branding aspect of their release. They planned gorgeous photoshoots, designed beautiful cover art, and planned a series of private and public release concerts that gave their music all the hype it deserves. 

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Now that the Complexion release is done, what's next for Pitch Slapped? 

"We're competing in NACC in Memphis in about a month which we're so excited for!" - says Brandon. "Other than that, we're hoping to keep creating and continue to travel and tour our music, workshopping and spreading a cappella music wherever and however we can!" 

NACC 2018

Topics: Fam Feature, CARA