Born from the exceptional groups Smith Westerns and Unknown Mortal Orchestra comes Whitney, the fast-rising Chicago-born band who have announced their debut album, Light Upon The Lake, due out June 3 via Secretly Canadian.
To accompany the album announcement, the band has shared a stellar new single and video for “Golden Days”. Upon first listen, you can hear the roots of the former bands of founding members Max Kakacek (ex-Smith Westerns) and Julien Ehrlich (ex-UMO), but there is much more depth behind the songs than you’d think.
Whitney was born in Chicago, during one of the worst winters in the city’s history, when Kakacek and Ehrlich would meet for songwriting sessions in the early morning. At the time, the duo were not only roommates, but also songwriting companions, passing the lyrics sheet back and forth, and becoming each other’s biggest critic and best shoulder to lean on. They each wrote about the break ups they were going through, guiding each other from a collaborative break down, and from that experience, Whitney was created; a third personality that arose and presented itself from the music they were creating.
“We were both writing as this one character,” says Kakacek, “and whenever we were stuck, we’d ask ‘ What would Whitney do in this situation?’ We personified the band name into this person, and that helped a lot. We wrote the record as though one person were playing everything. We pursposefully didn’t add a lot of parts and didn’t bother making everything perfect, because the character we had in mind wouldn’t do that.”
The new track “Golden Days” highlights these notions perfectly: the track isn’t perfect, but the arrangements and weakness found in Ehrlich’s vocals make it incredibly charming. The added touch of horns near the end of the song makes “Golden Days” shimmer just like the title would have you believe.
Check out the video above, and catch them on tour this spring, with multiple dates in Chicago and wrapping up with a homecoming set at this summer’s Pitchfork Music Festival.
Tue. Apr. 19 – Los Angeles, CA @ Union
Wed. Apr. 20 – San Diego, CA @ The Casbah w/ Wild Nothing
Thu. Apr. 21 – Santa Ana, CA @ Constellation Room w/ Wild Nothing
Fri. Apr. 22 – San Francisco, CA @ The Independent w/ Wild Nothing
Mon. Apr. 25 – Seattle, WA @ The Crocodile w/ Wild Nothing
Tue. Apr. 26 – Vancouver, BC @ Biltmore Cabaret w/ Wild Nothing
Wed. Apr. 27 – Portland, OR @ Doug Fir Lounge w/ Wild Nothing
Thu. Apr. 28 – Boise, ID @ Neurolux w/ Wild Nothing
Fri. Apr. 29 – Salt Lake City, UT @ Loading Dock w/ Wild Nothing
Mon. May 2 – Minneapolis, MN @ Triple Rock Social Club w/ Wild Nothing
Tue. May 3 – Chicago, IL @ Thalia Hall w/ Wild Nothing
Sat. May 7 – Fort Collins, CO @ Aggie Theatre w/ Unknown Mortal Orchestra
Sun. May 8 – Lincoln, NE @ Vega w/ Unknown Mortal Orchestra
Mon. May 9 – Des Moines, IA @ Wooly’s w/ Unknown Mortal Orchestra
Thu. May 12 – Lawrence, KS @ The Bottleneck w/ Unknown Mortal Orchestra
Fri. May 13 – Memphis, TN @ 1884 Lounge – Minglewood Hall w/ Unknown Mortal Orchestra
Sat. May 14 – Oxford, MS @ Proud Larry’s
Tue. May 17 – Columbus, OH @ Skully’s Music Diner w/ Unknown Mortal Orchestra
Wed. May 18 – Grand Rapids, MI @ The Pyramid Scheme w/ Unknown Mortal Orchestra
Thu. May 19 – Madison, WI @ Majestic Theatre w/ Unknown Mortal Orchestra
Fri. May 20 – Fargo, ND @ The Aquarium (Dempsey’s Upstairs) w/ Unknown Mortal Orchestra
Sat. May 21 – Winnipeg, MB @ West End Culture Centre w/ Unknown Mortal Orchestra
Mon. May 23 – Saskatoon, SK @ Amigos Cantina w/ Unknown Mortal Orchestra
Tue. May 24 – Edmonton, AB @ The Starlite Room w/ Unknown Mortal Orchestra
Wed. May 25 – Calgary, AB @ Commonwealth Bar w/ Unknown Mortal Orchestra
Mon. May 30 – Detroit, MI @ El Club
Tue. May 31 – Cleveland, OH @ Mahalls
Wed. June 1 – Albany, NY @ The Hollow
Fri. June 3 – Brooklyn, NY @ Baby’s All Right
Fri. July 15 – Chicago, IL @ Pitchfork Music Festival