WHITNEY – ” Golden Days “

Posted: December 2, 2016 in MUSIC
Tags: , , ,

Max Kakacek and Julien Ehrlich, Whitney’s songwriting duo, have been preparing to release their debut album since shortly after their last band, the Smith Westerns, split in 2014. When writing songs together, Kakacek and Ehrlich developed a persona: Whitney is a lonely guy who drinks too much and lives alone. It was probably a pretty easy idea to embody. Both Max and Julien are quick to admit that the songs for Light Upon the Lake were written in the midst of consecutive breakups. They felt a little bit like Whitney, so they built this as a bit of a concept album.

But, the weird thing about labeling this record as a breakup album is that it’s both accurate and—paradoxically—widely off base. It’s not angsty, or hastily prepared in a few drunken nights off of some fit of red-eyed nostalgia. Sure, literally speaking all of the songs off of Light Upon the Lake conjures up failure to maintain a relationship with a loved one, but how can you relate a new band’s debut record—and one that’s so so fully realized to the point of even having a mission statement in the Whitney, as a man, as a writing prompt and concept.

Is it too early for millennials to wax nostalgic about their golden days? Sounding like the Flying Burrito Brothers guesting on The Muppet Show, this debut from a pair of indie-rock refugees (Ehrlich from Unknown Mortal Orchestra, Kakacek from Smith Westerns) reminisces over a crumbled relationship with warmly generous lyrics to match the summery strum of the music.

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