This marks the very first spontaneous album discovery for this blog! I was originally going to start it off with a random selection from my local record store, but figured I’d start this discovery train off with a lovely find i stumbled upon today on a “Andy Shauf – The Party” Spotify radio.
Who is Whitney?
Whitney is a Chicago indie rock super group consisting of the former guitarist from Smith Western’s Max Kakacek and the former drummer of Unknown Mortal Orchestra, Julien Ehrlich. They were roommates, writing songs together and now a have a total of seven other members playing alongside; crazy. They formed Whitney in 2015, and released their debut “Light Upon The Lake” under the label “Secretly Canadian” in June, 2016.
So if you didn’t know already, I live in Vancouver BC. I use my bicycle to get around the city, and love some good summer jams to compliment the beautiful summer days spent in Van, whether it be cruising along the sea wall or commuting through the streets. I was listening to some Andy Shauf and blissfully taking in the scorching hot day we had today, and then Spotify’s radio system switched me to the song “Red Moon” on this album. Suddenly my ears were filled with a beautiful horn section on this short and sweet instrumental track. I proceeded to the rest of the album and was pleasantly surprised at its similarities to Andy Shauf in both Max’s higher octave, soft and unique vocals and the folk-like guitar playing, mixed with a beautiful array of strings, horns, and indie style drums. I love how the songs are nice and short, giving you nice tidbits of joyful and melancholic sounds throughout the project. If you like the vocal range of Justin Vernon (Bon Iver) then you’ll love Whitney, although some may think Max’s vocals to be a bit whiney. The guitars on this thing are incredibly catchy and folky, but a bit more complicated than the standard folk group. It’s the perfect album for lounging on the patio with a cider in hand, and a few friends to bask in the sun with. It certainly feels like a happy album, but the context of the songs deal with relationships going to shit, like on the single to this album “Golden Days” which changed the entire album’s theme lyrically, Whitney wanted to have a relaxing album that talked about their failed relationships in melancholy tone.
“It kept me real ’til I’m moving on
But you can’t leave feeling like you did no wrong
It’s a shame I can’t get it together now
It’s a shame we can’t get it together now
‘Cause I’m aching but”