The Octaves released a promotional single, "Too Close," on Feb. 14 for their new album "Ricochet," which will mark the singers' exciting return to the recording world of a cappella, said junior Jared Feinman, The Octaves' music director.
"We are making something bigger than just our voices," Feinman said. "Not everything on the album sounds exactly like what we do live."
The album is composed of 12 songs, some of which the group has never performed live, he said. The Octaves tried to pick a wide variety of songs, but still form a cohesive set, Feinman said.
The genres on the album include hip-hop, pop, country and rock, all carry the album title's message, Feinman said. The Octaves members talked before every recording session to make sure each singer applied the song's meaning to convey a comprehensive and passionate message, he said.
Sophomore Chase Brightwell, the soloist for "Too Close," said it had been an exciting experience to be featured because he had never heard his voice on a recording before.
"You don't always like hearing yourself sing," Brightwell said, "but the effects that they put on the track definitely help you sound good."
The album was recorded at a full-service recording studio and vocal arranging service agency, Emerald City Productions,near Washington, D.C., Feinman said. Studio owner Danny Ozment, who has worked on NBC's "The Sing Off," helped The Octaves through a year of intense recording, Feinman said.
The Octaves also worked with producer Dave Sperandio, who consulted the group and prepared it for the recording process, Feinman said.
Sperandio has worked with the group on two past albums in the past and has been in contact with them every month throughout the process on this latest album, Feinman said.
The way the members recorded was different than the approach to their four previous albums, he said. In addition to working with a professional arranger, the singers recorded parts based on who was the most appropriate singer for a specific syllable or harmony, he said.
Brightwell agreed that there had been more thought put into this album and said that the people the group had worked with had had great ideas.
To pay for the recording sessions and professional consulting, The Octaves' members collected revenue from live gigs, Brightwell said. There are some great people in the a cappella world talking about the album, he said, and all indications show that this album is going to be a lot more popular than previous albums.
The members of The Octaves hope to gain exposure on a larger scale, Feinman said, and to share the album with the university community.
The Octaves will be taking preorders at the Spring Fever XIX concert at 7:30 p.m. on March 2 in Camp Concert Hall, where members will perform some of the album's songs that have yet to be performed live.
"We want to sell a lot of albums to the students," Feinman said, "because we want to share our music because we enjoy it so much."
Contact reporter Jessica Racioppi at email@example.com