Posts Tagged ‘Whitney’

We still can’t get enough of Whitney‘s debut, Light Upon the Lake – it’s the perfect record for any season, mood, or time of day. It’s rarely left the turntable since it came out back in 2016, and since then we’ve found more ways to fall in love with it. So we’re excited to announce that the Light Upon the Lake: Demo Recordings, which was set for a November 10th release. We’ve also got a previously unreleased track, “You and Me,” to share with you, too.

Light Upon the Lake, the debut from Whitney, was born from early-morning songwriting sessions during one of the most brutal winters in Chicago’s history. Vocalist/drummer Julien Ehrlich and guitarist Max Kakacek began writing unflinching, honest songs about everything from break-ups to the passing of Ehrlich’s grandfather. The pair leaned on one another for both honest critique and a sounding board for working through their newly-discovered truths.

The brief, intense period of creativity for the band yielded Light Upon the Lake’s exceptional, unfussy combination of soul, breezy Sixties/Seventies rock, and somber heartbreak woven together by hopeful, golden threads. After critical acclaim and nearly nonstop touring since the album’s 2016 release, Ehrlich and Kakacek are going back to their roots for the first time, with the full demos from Light Upon the Lake . After a whirlwind year following the debut, the demos offer a way for listeners to get a glimpse into the very beginning of Whitney’s sound.

“After almost two years of non-stop touring we decided we wanted to close the chapter on Light Upon the Lake by releasing the songs in their earliest incarnations alongside a cover of a band favorite by Allen Toussaint, and an unreleased track called ‘You and Me.’ We’re looking towards LP2 as we finish out the year on the road.” – Love, Max and Julien.

Whitney “You and Me” from Light Upon The Lake: Demo Recordings out November 10th on Secretly Canadian

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Whitney’s debut album, “Light Upon the Lake”, came out on June 3rd, 2016. It was the kind of record perfectly suited to early June, its sunny guitar riffs personifying the promise of summer: the parties, the road trips, the romances. The now indie classic began with an ode to loneliness on “No Woman,” but it quickly transitioned into something more hopeful, the search for golden days on the open road in a “trash heap two-seat” with nowhere to go. The duo, made up of Max Kakacek and Julien Ehrlich, reveled in the unknown and found happiness in spontaneity.

This year Whitney has returned to delight us with its delicate indie folk ambient sound. Its soft and enveloping music seems to be designed for rainy afternoons of tea and blanket. In his album time seems to pass slowly between very bright everyday places. Although critics agree that this new work has been little risky and has lost some of the freshness of its first album, it is still an exquisite album.

In contrast their new album, “Forever Turned Around”, is the Chicago band’s follow up (which finally sees the light of day on August. 30th embodies the very end of summer.

That auspicious romance didn’t quite work out the way they had envisioned it when pulling out of the driveway—it’s now dissolving right in front of them. Lyrics like “You’re still a friend of mine while you’re drifting away” (“Friend of Mine”) or “Tears are falling one by one / I can feel you giving up” (“Giving Up”) have replaced the wide-eyed optimism of their debut. Forever Turned Around is the reality to Light Upon the Lake’s expectation—summer is over and with it, the fling that defined it.

The last time we heard from Chicago-based Whitney they were the easy-breezy bros stepping out into the wider world imbued with optimism, wonder and romanticism – the feeling was so infectious we fell head over heels gifting them our number one album of 2016.

Forever Turned Around is like the return of a good friend you’ve not seen for some time – but there’s something lost or broken.

There’s always been a wistful melancholy coursing through vocalist/drummer Julien Ehrlich and guitarist Max Kakacek odes but where Light Upon The Lake was a wide-eyed love letter to the future Forever Turned Around seems more of sigh to what’s gone, and will never be rekindled.

There’s genuine sadness and longing in Ehrlich‘s beautiful falsetto. See the way he coos desperation in Valleys (My Love), “There’s gotta be another way, I’ve been on my own all day, pretending everything’s alright, we’ve been drifting apart sometime.

This feeling is echoed right across Forever Turned Around‘s instrumentation as their folksy-pop doesn’t effuse the bright spark of their debut, instead it is replaced by a pensive, mournful or downright sorrowful tone – see intro and lead single’s Giving Up‘s tearful waltz before their characteristic introduction of brass brightens up the narrative in the final third.

Equally downbeat are the final three tracks which neatly segue into a triptych of soulful blues; Day & Night with it’s swoonsome guitars aligned to lyrics about drifting and feeling strange, Friend of Mine which takes The Band‘s template of Americana wrapping delicious harmonies around a longing ragtime tune before the title track’s closing statement: “Has your heart grown heavy by now, because mine’s already on the ground,” sums up the album’s over all feel.

There are, however, brighter notes – the brass-to-the-fore instrumental of Rhododendron plays on their superlative nature as a tight-ass live outfit before fading out way too soon. While Before I Know It is a simply gorgeous track uplifted by a final flourish of lush sweeping orchestration.

By taking the same approach as their quite magnificent debut, Whitney have repeated that blueprint, yet with thinly layered woe Forever Turned Aroundis a without a doubt a more difficult listen which will inevitably underwhelm some of their fan base.

That said, there’s few bands out there who can create such beautiful timeless music as this and make it seem so easy. Expect tears.

Forever Turned Around, the new album from Whitney, out August 30th, 2019 on Secretly Canadian Records.

Whitney are releasing a new 7″ single to celebrate their upcoming sold-out, four-night hometown run at Chicago’s Thalia Hall. One side is “F.T.A.,” an alternate version of the title track from this year’s terrific “Forever Turned Around”, with a cover of Wilco’s “Far, Far Away” on the flip.

Whitney was born from a series of laidback early-morning songwriting sessions during one of the harshest winters in Chicago history, after Julien Ehrlich and Max Kakacek (former members of Smith Westerns) reconnected – first as roommates splitting rent in a small Chicago apartment and later as musical collaborators passing the guitar and the lyrics sheet back and forth. 

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released November 22nd, 2019

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Whitney was born from a series of laidback early-morning songwriting sessions during one of the harshest winters in Chicago. after Julien Ehrlich and Max Kakacek (former members of Smith Westerns) reconnected – first as roommates splitting rent in a small Chicago apartment and later as musical collaborators passing the guitar and the lyrics sheet back and forth.

Whitney have shared another new song from their forthcoming album “Forever Turned Around”, which is out August 30th via Secretly Canadian. It’s called “Valleys (My Love)” and arrives with a new music video from Kamp Grizzly. Directed by Nick Woytuk, it follows a truck driver. Watch it below.

Whitney’s sophomore album features production from Brad Cook (Bon Iver, Hand Habits) and Foxygen’s Jonathan Rado (who’s worked with Weyes Blood and Father John Misty). The new single follows “Giving Up.”

Whitney are performing later this year’s at Green Man Festival Brecon Beacons, UK

“Valleys (My Love)” from Forever Turned Around, the new album from Whitney, out August 30th, 2019 on Secretly Canadian

Whitney (Photo by Olivia Bee).

Whitney have announced their new record “Forever Turned Around”. It’s out August 30th via Secretly Canadian. They’ve also shared “Giving Up” from the LP. Listen below.

Forever Turned Around follows the band’s debut, 2016’s Light Upon the Lake. The new album features production from Brad Cook (Bon Iver, Hand Habits) and Foxygen’s Jonathan Rado (who’s worked with Weyes Blood and Father John Misty). Whitney shared “FTA” earlier this month along with a Josiah Marshall-directed video.

Last year, the Chicago duo shared an album of Light Upon the Lake demo recordings, which included the previously unreleased tracks “You and Me” and a cover of Allen Toussaint’s “Southern Nights.”

Whitney (Julien Ehrlich and Max Kakacek) Forever Turned Aroundis due out August 30th via Secretly Canadian.

Forever Turned Around is Whitney’s second album, the follow-up to 2016’s debut album, this week they also shared a teaser video entitled “FTA,” which we now know stands for Forever Turned Around (the phrase “forever turned around” was repeated towards the end of the video). At one point they reunited with original rhythm guitarist Ziyad Asrar in his basement studio in Chicago, which is where much of Light Upon the Lake came together. Chicago musicians Lia Kohland and OHMME’s Macie Stewart contribute strings to the album.

Whitney’s live band also features keyboardist Malcolm Brow, guitarist Print Chouteau, bassist Josiah Marshall, and trumpeter Will Miller, with Asrar also returning to the live band.

A press release describes Forever Turned Around this way: “On the follow up to their much-beloved debut, 2016’s Light Upon the Lake, Ehrlich and Kakacek grapple with the anxiety and acceptance that time is limited and navigate questions of mortality, doubt, love, and friendship. It’s an album about partnership – romantic, familial, and communal, but most importantly a love in friendship: the bonds between two best friends and creative partners and the joy and stress that comes with it.”

“Giving Up” is described in the press release as “a heart-rending and relatable song about the ups and downs of long-term relationships.”

“Giving Up” from ‘Forever Turned Around’ by Whitney, out 8/30 on Secretly Canadian.

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Whitney  –  Light Upon The Lake: Demo Recordings

Light Upon The Lake’, the debut from Whitney, was born from early-morning songwriting sessions during one of the most brutal winters in Chicago’s history. Vocalist / drummer Julien Ehrlich and guitarist Max Kakacek began writing unflinching, honest songs about everything from breakups to the passing of Ehrlich’s grandfather. The pair leaned on one another for both honest critique and a sounding board for working through their newly-discovered truths.

The brief, intense period of creativity for the band yielded ‘Light Upon The Lake’s exceptional, unfussy combination of soul, breezy Sixties / Seventies rock and sombre heartbreak woven together by hopeful, golden threads. After critical acclaim and nearly nonstop touring since the album’s 2016 release, Ehrlich and Kakacek are going back to their roots – for the first time, the full demos from ‘Light Upon The Lake’ will be made available. After a whirlwind year following the debut, the demos offer a way for listeners to get a glimpse into the very beginning of Whitney’s sound.

“After almost two years of non-stop touring, we decided we wanted to close the chapter on ‘Light Upon The Lake’ by releasing the songs in their earliest incarnations alongside a cover of a band favorite by Alan Toussaint, and an unreleased track called ‘You and Me’. We’re looking towards LP2 as we finish out the year on the road.”

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Husker Du – Savage Young Du

Experience the punishing sonic origins of a punk icon. Collected here for the first time, and skillfully remastered from original board tapes, demos, and session masters, this collection is an authoritative chronicling of the wellspring and maturation of Grant Hart, Greg Norton and Bob Mould – three St. Paul teenagers who’d go on to become the most heralded trio of the American punk underground. Follow the Hüskers to their earliest gigs in 1979, through extensive road dog touring, and to the start of their partnership with West Coast tastemaker SST Records in 1983 via a massive hardbound book crammed full of photos, flyers, and a sprawling essay with participation from the band. 47 of the 69 songs compiled here are previously unissued, and includes In A Free Land, Everything Falls Apart , and an alternate version Land Speed Record.

3CD – Three CD Remastered Set housed in Die Cut Sleeves. Comes with 144 Page Booklet with 40 previously unpublished photographs and 12,000 word essay by Erin Osmon.

4LP – Four LP Remastered Set housed in Tip on Sleeves. Comes with 108 Page Booklet with 40 previously unpublished photographs and 12,000 word essay by Erin Osmon.

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The Stooges  – Highlights From The Fun House Sessions

1970: The Complete Fun House Sessions was recorded at Elektra Sound Recorders in Los Angeles and compiled from all thirteen reels of multi-track tape that held every note and snippet of studio dialogue. Twelve reels of tape were used during the original sessions, with the thirteenth reel having the takes that would be used on the studio album. This sprawling set which was originally aimed at the collector market would be challenging and cost prohibitive to reissue as a multi-disc vinyl box set. What is presented here is an attempt to assemble some of the best highlights from the Fun House Sessions on an officially-released 2LP set in high quality packaging with a sequence that hopefully proves to be an easier, and more casual listen. Included are some terrific alternate versions of Down on the Street, Loose, Dirt, Funhouse ,1970 and others, pulled from session reels 1, 4,6, 7, 9 & 11 and originally recorded on May 11,12, 15, 18, 21 & 25 of 1970. Also notable is the inclusion of the 17+ minute-version of L.A. Blues, titled as “Freak,” which encompasses the entire fourth side of this set and is the prime example of what makes the Funhouse Sessions both loved and feared simultaneously.

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Angel Olsen –  Phases

Angel Olsen releases Phases, a collection of B-sides, rarities, and demos from the past several years, including a number of never-before released tracks, via Jagjaguwar. Balancing tenacity and tenderness, Phases acts as a deep-dive for longtime fans, as well as a fitting introduction to Olsen’s sprawling sonics for the uninitiated. Fly On Your Wall, previously contributed to the online-only, anti-Trump fundraiser Our First 100 Days, opens Phases, before seamlessly slipping into Special, a brand new song from the My Woman recording sessions. Both How Many Disasters and Sans are first-time listens: home-recorded demos that have never been released, leaning heavily on Olsen’s arresting croon and lonesome guitar. The B-sides compilation is both a testament to Olsen’s enormous musical range and a tidy compilation of tracks that have previously been elusive in one way or another.

LP – Black Vinyl with Download.

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Jane Weaver  –  Modern Kosmology

Modern Kosmology sees Jane Weaver’s melodic-protagonist channeling new depths of creative cosmic energy within. After the huge critical acclaim of 2012’s Fallen By Watchbird, followed by 2015’s exploratory Silver Globe LP winning her unanimous “record of the year accolades” and hefty measures of radio play-listing Jane Weaver’s conceptual trajectory has sent her neo-kosmische penchants to the point of no-return. Jane Weaver’s unwaning yearning for psychoactive pop energy has just reached a new level of magnetism. As snowclones go, Modern Kosmology is the new Silver. Another Spectrum to add to the tension.

CD – Digipack.

LP – Standard LP is standard weight vinyl, black inner and A6 download card.

LP+ – Deluxe LP – 1000 Copies only. Black 180 Gram vinyl, Deluxe metallic foil print sleeve, black inner, 24”x12” fold out poster, A6 download card.

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Vagabon – Infinite Worlds

Reissue on Marathon of the album that came out earlier this year on Father/Daughter records and was a Pitchfork favourite. Within the songs of Laetitia Tamko there are infinite worlds: emotional spaces that grow wider with time, songs within songs that reveal themselves on each listen. Tamko is a multi-instrumentalist and a producer, recording since 2014 as Vagabon. Her forthcoming debut, Infinite Worlds, builds upon Tamko’s stripped-down demos that have been circulating online and throughout the independent music community for the past two years. Tamko’s songs are embedded with her own story and personal history: growing up in Cameroon, her family’s move to New York and adjusting to culture shock. She grew up around music and loved it, but finishing engineering school was a priority before music could start to feel like a real possibility. To date, Tamko mostly listens to East and West African music nostalgic of her childhood, styles of music that influence her own in subtle ways.

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The Raincoats  –  Fairytale In The Supermarket EP

Limited copies are signed by Ana Da Silva. We ThRee reissue The Raincoats’ legendary first 7” E.P. originally released on Rough Trade Records in April 1979, and has been commercially unavailable since its first release. Fairytale in the Supermarket currently features in Mike Mill’s widely acclaimed and Golden Globes nominated new film 20th CenturyDigitally re-mastered from original masters. Original monoprint sleeve design by Ana da Silva.

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R.E.M  – Automatic For The People (25th Anniversary Edition)

Widely considered to be one of the best albums of the 90s, 1992’s Automatic For The People features R.E.M.’s iconic hit singles Nightswimming, Man on the Moon and Everybody Hurts.

2CD – Remastered album plus Live At The 40 Watt Club in a rigid clamshell box with booklet. 4CD – Remastered Deluxe edition boxset features previously unreleased material, including 20 never-before-heard demos, and the previously unreleased tracks Mike’s Pop Song and Devil Rides Backwards. A Blu-ray disc offers the full album (with bonus track Photograph featuring Natalie Merchant) mixed in Dolby Atmos, plus a high-resolution master of the album, music videos, and the original 1992 EPK. Also included is Live At The 40 Watt Club 11/19/92 – a live set performed in R.E.M.’s hometown of Athens, GA.

LP – 180 Gram Heavyweight black vinyl, cut from original analogue tapes at Capitol Studios and download card.

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Ed Tullett and Novo Amor  –  Heiress

After meeting in November 2013, Ed Tullett and Novo Amor (Ali Lacey) quickly began writing to form the basis of what is now “Heiress”, their full-length collaborative record.
Recorded around the release of their two widely lauded collaborative singles (“Faux”, 2014 and “Alps”, 2016), the pair worked sporadically in intense week-long sessions in Cardiff spilling over Lacey’s old and new home-studios, tearing songs down and building them back up again. “Heiress” is noticeably the product of nearly 4 years work – sprawling, ambitious and strikingly deep, it’s a collection of songs both meticulously calculated and deeply felt.

Whitney’s cover of Lion’s poppy 1975 song “ You’ve Got A Woman” from their recently announced covers EP, is a sumptuous take on the Dutch duo’s tune that’s also one of Whitney’s more sensual efforts.

The same can be said for their new video, which pares images of afternoon swimming and dimly lit lovemaking with the Chicago band’s indie-pop slow jam. It’s all fairly low-key and a lot of the images are fleeting, but they’re fairly illustrative in showing a whirlwind romance that has as many ups and downs as your standard episode of a soap opera. The video’s duo might not actually spend a lifetime together, but there’s enough going on to make it feel that way.

“You’ve Got A Woman (Lion Cover)” from the upcoming 12” out June 2nd, 2017 on Secretly Canadian Records.  
Available on 12” and Digital: https://whitney.lnk.to/covers

Ever since they wrote Light Upon The Lake as Chicago froze around them during winter 2014, Whitney have tried to make the kind of songs they’d be jealous of if someone else got there first. “You’ve Got A Woman,” released on the B-side of Dutch duo Lion‘s 1975 psych-pop 7″ But I Do, is precisely one of those songs. “As soon as I heard it, I wished I’d written the vocal melody; it’s so catchy and powerful,” says singing drummer Julien Ehrlich. Whitney’s version is rich, instantaneous and deep in groove. There’s trademark brass from Will Miller, wandering lead from guitarist Max Kakacek and bursts of strings. Like “No Woman,” “Golden Days,” and the rest of last year’s debut, it’s brushed with longing, nostalgia and serves to slow down time.

Unlike Lion, Whitney make it their A-side. Flip the 12″ and you’ll find Dolly Parton‘s “Gonna Hurry (As Slow As I Can),” a short, tearful love song hewn from piano, brass, guitar and Julian’s falsetto. You’ve heard him sing it before, live, sat on the lip of the stage accompanied by Max on guitar.

Several months into 2017 and the Whitney train is still chuggin’ along. In addition to touring virtually non-stop for all of 2016, the Chicago-based band has a slew of dates ahead for this year, and just released a new 12″.

Recorded in the fleeting calm between all of that touring, the record is available now digitally and physically on June 2nd. The 12″ includes two covers – Dutch duo Lion‘s 1975 psych-pop “You’ve Got a Woman” and Dolly Parton‘s “Gonna Hurry (As Slow As I Can).” Drummer Julien Ehrlich notes “You’ve Got a Woman” is an evil-sounding cut for Whitney, a band who established a sonic aesthetic of sweet, sun-dappled longing and nostalgia on last year’s “Light Upon the Lake”, instead playing around with the darker elements and strings on Lion’s track. On the other hand, “Gonna Hurry (As Slow As I Can)” will be familiar to those who’ve caught one of Whitney’s shows – they’ve been working it into their live sets, Ehrlich crooning the song, accompanied by guitarist Max Kakacek.

And yes, for the record, Ehrlich wants to assure everyone that they’re eager to jump into a second album – “We’re about three songs in, we’re too emotionally unstable to write on the road – songs pop out if we have chill time to process what we’ve been putting ourselves through.”

“Gonna Hurry (As Slow As I Can) (Dolly Parton Cover)” from the upcoming 12” out June 2nd, 2017 on Secretly Canadian Records

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.

The smartly dressed simpleton at the center of Whitneys “Polly” video isn’t having a very good day. The clip, directed by animator Sarina Nihei, starts off promising; sitting alone on a bench one cloudy morning, the gentleman is joined by another fellow, who just so happens to like fellows. They fall in love and go on a dune buggy ride, and it’s great, until the dune buggy crashes and the boy’s new beau leaves him choking in the dust. So, naturally, he decides to go for a walk through the seediest part of town, passing by addicts and dead birds (not to mention through a sludge wave) as he goes on his merry way. Is it a happy adventure? No, but it’s an adventure nonetheless. Watch below.

Whitney released their debut album “Light Upon the Lake earlier this year on Secretly Canadian.