By Sam McHugh
Whitney’s 2016 debut, and only album to date, ‘Light Upon the Lake’ is a rich collection of soulful indie tunes with jazzy undertones that could easily leave the listener guessing which songs might be the singles.
This album could not exactly be called innovative but it’s certainly a step much further than a ‘safe pair of hands’. And even though a lot of the lyrics are not anything we haven’t heard before, the music itself stands strong enough to negate any lacking on the part of words.
Having said that, Julian Ehrlich’s falsetto singing style is an essential factor in what makes this album work so well; it ties the almost differing genres of some of the songs, such as ‘Light Upon the Lake’ and ‘On My Own’, together perfectly and allows the whole album to harmonise.
Whitney handles the country-like element in Max Kakacek’s guitar playing, which creeps into a few tracks like ‘Golden Days’, ‘Dave’s Song’ and ‘No Matter Where We Go’, very well. This seems mostly as a result of the use of brass horns which also feature on the majority of the songs. They seem to add a welcome dash of colour to emotive songs that might not be such easy listening without them. At other times, they provide an outright jazzy feel, especially on ‘Red Moon’.
‘Light Upon the Lake’ feels like an easy-going, lazy album to listen to in sunny weather, despite it also having quite a confident sound. The eponymous track itself is a tranquil one; it’s actually kind of similar to more scaled back yet still very expressive Beatles tracks.
This album is absolutely more than just a worthwhile listen and especially in the coming months with the hope that the weather continues to get a lot warmer.