The Pitchforks and Priority Male both to release third albums

Both albums are expected to be released during the 2017-18 school year

The Pitchforks and Priority Male, ASU’s all-female and all-male a cappella groups, respectively, are preparing for their first concerts of the year and the release of their third albums. 

According to McKenzie Hayes, a music therapy junior and president of the Pitchforks, while preparing for its upcoming performances, the group has largely focused on the members bonding and connecting personally as well as musically.

“If you can blend all your personalities together really well, then you’re sound is going to blend a lot better,” Hayes said. “So that’s been a big thing for us.”

Laura Swendig, a secondary education major and the vice president of Pitchforks, is one of the only two seniors in the group this year. She said during her time in the Pitchforks she has noticed the group experience difficulties with the members all getting along.

“In an all-female group, filled with emotion and frustration and strong-willed women, it’s really important to be able to have relationships where you guys can communicate openly and work well with one another,” Swendig said.

Because of this, Swendig said the group is trying to move toward a more friendship-oriented, supportive, “kind of sorority-esque plus music” character.

The Pitchforks singing "No" by Meghan Trainor, which they will perform at their fall concert on Nov. 9.

The group will have its first concert of the semester on Nov. 9 from 8 to 10 p.m. at Tempe Marketplace in a show featuring Priority Male.

In previous years, the group has sung pieces arranged by outside individuals. But, this semester all the songs the Pitchforks will perform are original arrangements by members of the group.

The Pitchforks have released two albums and, according to Hayes, are working on releasing a third entitled “Year 24.” The album was recorded two years ago to commemorate the 24th anniversary of the group.

Hayes said the album has been recorded and mixed, but the group had funding challenges that delayed the record's release. The group is planning to release “Year 24” by the end of the spring semester in 2018.

Swendig said the group is currently working on fundraising and is considering starting with a digital release before a physical release, which may enable the Pitchforks to release the album earlier, possibly as soon as January or February.

The Pitchforks are also one of the finalists for ASU’s Got Talent, a student competition on Nov. 7 at Civic Space Park across from the Downtown Phoenix campus. According to Hayes, if the group wins, then the prize money will go toward funding “Year 24.”

On Nov. 4 ASU hosted the Arizona A Cappella Festival, inviting a cappella groups from Arizona universities, high schools, middle schools and the general community to participate in workshops throughout the day and a performance that night.

The Pitchforks, Priority Male and other ASU a cappella groups led the event this year, teaching workshops on a variety of topics like beat-boxing, arranging music and making an album. They also performed afterward with participating groups. 

According to Patrick Alexander Moyse, a senior majoring in English and the president of Priority Male, the group started in 2009 with only four students but has quadrupled in size over the last eight years into a diverse community of musicians. 

“We’re 16 guys from all different walks of life and all different majors,” said Moyse. “Only two of us are actually music majors.”

Moyse said Priority Male has recorded two albums, “First Class” and “Two Day Shipping,” and is currently working on releasing a third album entitled “Three Male,” which is expected to be released December 2017.

Priority Male will be opening for the Pitchforks at their concert and will be having their first concert of the semester at ASU on Nov. 17.

The Pitchforks' Fall Concert featuring Priority Male will be on Nov. 9 at Tempe Marketplace. The concert is free, but California Pizza Kitchen will be donating 20 percent of all proceeds from that day to the Pitchforks to help fund their album release.

Reach the reporter at and follow @abpotter4 on Twitter. 

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