Label: Secretly Canadian
Released: 16th September 2022
With a pair of softly sung and deeply emotive neo-folk albums on their CV, Chicago multi-instrumentalist duo Whitney have come completely out of left field with their poppy, shimmering album ‘SPARK’. Laced with all the charisma of their previous work and zapped by new synthy tones, this record masterfully probes at the most obscure of your emotions while goading you to dance along.
Co-writers Max Kakacek and Julien Ehrlich found themselves running out of zeal for their semi-acoustic style toward the end of their second full-length, ‘Forever Turned Around’. With a full-on pandemic keeping them at home, they expanded their sound by bringing in more equipment and freeing themselves from any expectations or pressure. It’s instinctual. Lyrically, they continue to astonish, with breakups and introspection concentrated into poignant and catchy tracks. “I know this life only brings bad news, but I’m gonna try to hold on to you,” Julien sings sweetly on ‘TWIRL’ in his iconically serene timbre. Their writing is beautifully uncomplicated, making all the more room for their musical breadth to film every track with its innumerable artefacts and hidden elements.
Even when singing of their losses from throughout the pandemic in ‘TERMINAL’, Whitney embody a comforting embrace that harkens back to their profoundly touching roots. There has been no sacrifice in the emotion of their music, only now there is a supplementary liveliness that is truly addictive.
Whitney have defined what it is to change their tune, showing that there truly is reward in playing with your spirit. With them switching things up, there’s no doubt that there’s countless more exciting things on the way from them.