The mellow, folk- and country-informed indie pop/rock of Whitney is built around the core songwriting duo of Julien Ehrlich and Max Kakacek, both formerly of Smith Westerns. Led by Ehrlich's soft falsetto, the group's debut album, 2016's Light Upon the Lake, landed on several Billboard side charts, including rock, alternative, and vinyl. Their third long-player, 2020's Candid, concentrated on covers spanning John Denver, SWV, and Damien Jurado. In late 2014, after three albums, Chicago indie rock outfit Smith Westerns announced that they were disbanding. Frontman Cullen Omori launched a solo career, and, with Ehrlich singing lead from the drum kit and Kakacek playing guitar, bandmates Julien Ehrlich and Max Kakacek formed Whitney. Their first single, "No Woman," appeared in January 2016, and two months later they made waves with an appearance at the South by Southwest Music Festival. With a fluctuating lineup of supporting players, Whitney quickly followed that with opening spots on tours for NE-HI, Wild Nothing, and Unknown Mortal Orchestra (Ehrlich was a one-time drummer for UMO). They had secured festival spots at the Governors Ball, Bonnaroo, and Pitchfork Music Festival, among others, before their debut album, Light Upon the Lake, arrived on Secretly Canadian that June. With the official lineup of Ehrlich, Kakacek, Malcolm Brown, Tracy Print Chouteau, Charles Glanders, Josiah Marshall, and Will Miller, the LP appeared on Billboard's rock, alternative, and independent albums charts, reaching the Top Ten of the Vinyl Albums sales chart. It also appeared on numerous year-end lists, among them NME, Paste, and The Guardian. Two cover songs arrived in 2017: Lion's "You've Got a Woman" and Dolly Parton's "Gonna Hurry (As Slow as I Can)." Secretly Canadian issued them as a 12" 45-rpm single. In 2019, Whitney returned with their sophomore album, Forever Turned Around. Produced by Brad Cook (Megafaun) and Light Upon the Lake co-producer Jonathan Rado (Foxygen), it included contributions from their original rhythm guitarist, Ziyad Asrar, who then re-joined the band's touring lineup. The following year saw the release of the covers album Candid. It included a cover of John Denver's "Take Me Home, Country Roads" featuring Waxahatchee.
© Marcy Donelson /TiVo
© Marcy Donelson /TiVo
13 albums sorted by Most acclaimed
Narrow my search
Alternative & Indie - Released August 30, 2019 | Secretly Canadian
Three years separate Light Upon The Lake, Whitney’s brilliant debut album, from Forever Turned Around. In 2016, when Max Kakacek (former guitarist of the Smith Westerns) and Julien Ehrlich (former drummer of Unknown Mortal Orchestra) teamed up, their original take on rock, which was tinged with folk and soul, quickly earned them critical acclaim and a solid fan base. Their sound wasn’t unlike that of Girls (a group that Kakacek and Ehrlich often joined on tour), mixed with the melancholy found in Neil Young’s old acoustic records, Harry Nilsson’s ear for melody and Fleet Foxes’ careful arrangements... Our Chicago hipsters seem to have come straight out of sunny California in the seventies and here they are back for more with this second equally endearing opus. Nonchalance and evanescence are once again well-mastered on compositions that sometimes veer towards country, folk and soul - genres that are even more present than on Light Upon The Lake. Ultimately, Forever Turned Around has all the qualities of a timeless album, a nostalgic record saturated with the colours of an Indian summer... © Marc Zisman/Qobuz
Alternative & Indie - Released March 27, 2017 | Secretly Canadian
News feed Prev. Next
yesterday Qobuz | Throwing Muses - Sun RacketThu Qobuz | Keith Urban broadens his horizonsWed Qobuz | DUCKWRTH, A SuperGood Album?
Tue Qobuz | Bronson Bronson BronsonMon Qobuz | Marilyn Manson's Self ReflectionFri Qobuz | Artemis: The Jazz Goddesses
Thu Qobuz | Bruce Hornsby: Non-Secure ConnectionWed Qobuz | The Flaming Lips: Sunset Youth in OklahomaTue Qobuz | Igor Levit Lock-down Recital
Mon Qobuz | The Incredible Sophie Hunger: HalluzinationenThu Qobuz | Declan McKenna, the voice of a generation