Words by Graeme Elliott
On the 23rd August the Hare & Hounds plays host to Whitney. The laid back seven-piece from Chicago are currently touring the UK backed by a surge of industry buzz, with their debut album – Light Upon the Lake, eliciting acclaim across the music press.
Advance tickets for the gig, presented by the ever busy This is Tmrw, will set you back £10 plus booking fee – for further information & online ticket sales click here. Doors open at 7.30pm, with Birmingham’s own Swampmeat Family Band playing in support.
Whitney were formed by guitarist Max Kakacek and singer/drummer Julien Ehrlich following the demise of their previous band Smith Westerns, whose music has a timeless quality to it; a mellow Americana swathed in nostalgia.
The name Whitney was devised as the name of fictional singer songwriter, a cipher to channel their song writing through. However the personal nature of Whitney’s music belies this fact; they are not shy in baring more than their souls either, as the band’s Instagram pictures also show. But perhaps taking a more detached attitude towards the song writing process has allowed them to explore this side of themselves more readily within their music.
Whitey’s songs themselves manage to make complex arrangements sound clean, warm and effortless; their studio recordings layering strings and brass with falsetto vocals and melodic, but understated, lead guitar work. Whitney trade the hazy reverb of Smith Westerns for a more direct, but no less atmospheric, sound.
Although despite the gentle nature of Whitney’s music, their performance promises to be a lively proposition, with Julian Ehrlich claiming “we bend the instrumentals, there’s more energy, some stage banter”.
And with Whitney numbering seven, as such a high head count crams itself onto one stage this isn’t surprising. As someone who finds their debut album a little too relaxed at times it will be interesting to see how their songs transform in a live setting.
To get a taste of what to expect check out their video for ‘No Woman’, the lead single from Whitney’s debut album – Light Upon the Lake.
Whitney play at the Hare & Hounds (Kings Heath) on Tues 23rd August, with support from Swampmeat Family Band – as presented by This Is Tmrw. For direct gig info & online tickets sales, click here.
For more on Whitney, visit www.whitneytheband.com/
For more on Swampmeat Family Band, visit www.facebook.com/Swampmeat-Family-Band
For more from the Hare & Hounds, visit www.hareandhoundskingsheath.co.uk