You know a band is going to take off when Reverberation Radio throws one of their songs on a mix. Enter Whitney, the new creation of ex-Unknown Mortal Orchestra drummer Julien Ehrlich and Max Kakacek of Smith Westerns, who, through a series of “laidback early-morning songwriting sessions” and one harsh Chicago winter, pulled their talent together and produced their debut album, Light Upon the Lake, out June 3rd on indie label Secretly Canadian.
Whitney is already mustering up some heat and garnering comparisons to Townes Van Zandt, Jim Ford, Bobby Charles, even a slack Pavement reference I haven’t quite nailed down. And as a band consisting of six musicians (seven counting their soundman), and their inherent love for analog recordings, Whitney gives me some serious Band vibes.
“There’s a lot of true feeling behind these songs,” says Ehrlich of Light Upon the Lake. “We wanted them to have a part of our personalities in them. We wanted the songs to have soul.” Combine that with an encapsulating casual melancholy and beautiful layers of instruments, I’m betting Whitney sticks around to show us how much soul they really have. –Maya Eslami