Whitney // Light Upon the Lake
Whitney has made an anachronistically spectacular debut album.
Light Upon the Lake
Whitney has made an anachronistically spectacular debut album. Relaxed vocal harmonies lusciously blend with vintage finger-plucked twang to take you back to bygone days before the band was born. There's antiquity in the sound of the ever-so-slightly out of tune horns. The dream of Pet Sounds is alive and well here, faithfully passed down from 90s bands like The Minders. Sometimes you hear musicians describe their sound as "warm." This is what they mean. Guitars that would normally sound cutting are subdued and filled out. Max Kakacek continues the work he began with the Smith Westerns, aided by Julien Ehrlich of the Unknown Mortal Orchestra. Writing the album in their Chicago apartment, both parties mitigate their rock personas in favor of a calmer state. Melodies are revered, all instruments playing in support of each whistle-able tune, whatever it may be. The album opens in the minor, foggy reminiscence of "No Woman." Tones shift as "The Falls" bounce upstream. The titular track of Light Upon The Lake is solemn and dulcet, the music box tones unfolding and fading. – Nick Warren