Review: Whitney – Light Upon The Lake

Whitney have demanded to be taken seriously since their casual arrival last year. Although you’d expect that to be the case when past merits include the prolific Smith Westerns and Unknown Mortal Orchestra.
The maple warmth of debut album ‘Light Upon The Lake’ simply feels like a few musicians have hit the whisky, entered a lodge and just poured their emotions into something. As a matter of fact, this presumption might not be too far off the mark. Born from feelings of loneliness, heartache and cold weather; the record details a lot of mutual thoughts amongst the group.

Noticeably glueing the tracks together is the high and distinguished vocal of Julian Ehrlich, “Take me in your heart again”, he longingly croons in ‘Dave’s Song’. It’s a listen with the power to tickle your old heartstrings. In this sense, the album appears to take stock from touring pal Tobias Jesso Jr, who also utilises the power of subtle melody. You could draw heavy comparisons between these artists in many areas but the main one would truly be is that this sound works.
Many tracks stand out amongst the record as a whole, the most quickly to have been embraced are singles ‘Golden Days’ and ‘No Woman’ which perfectly capture their laid-back spirit. The band opted for an old-school analogue recording method which allowed them to focus on the music itself and capture moments that couldn’t be repeated. This offers both a wholesome and accomplished sound.

That being said, for some Whitney are a band who are probably best appreciated in small doses. Their music is unassuming and beautiful which gives it a certain charm. Although you can’t help but feel the sweetened lull might be a bit too much for back to back listens.
Ultimately, it’s a humble effort which flaunts a huge amount of talent. The album has the ability to transport your mind into the heart of a sun-glazed American morning, a notion which is worthy of anyone’s attention.

‘Light Upon The Lake’ is out now on Secretly Canadian and you can buy it here.
Read our interview with the band in Issue Nine here.