The summer months are regularly driven by busy social activities running of off the seemingly inexhaustible power of uplifting, provocative party music. An influx of fun, laughter, and celebration dominate the sociable atmosphere, making the world an objectively happier, more gregarious place to live. But as September rears its hooded head and the sun sets on summer’s festive spirit, the associated fun’s bound to wind down too, right?
Not necessarily – although the season is coming to an distressful end, Whitney’s sophomore album Forever Turned Around just laid out the perfect soundtrack to help us smoothly transition out of summer.
As sad as that transition sounds, Forever Turned Around is as sonically comforting as this normally bittersweet time of year can possibly get. The album is Whitney’s first since their 2016 debut Light Upon the Lake, and it only further solidifies their role as a bridge between the worlds of folk and indie rock. In addition to frontmen Julien Ehrlich and Max Kakacek’s respectively agreeable percussion and acoustic guitar, the album is filled with a assuaging violins, an army of jovial brass instruments, and the tender twang of a homey pedal steel guitar. Led by Ehrlich’s very singular, impudent voice, the ensemble of warm textures employed within Forever Turned Around amounts to nothing short of soothing, upbeat bliss.
Lyrically speaking, Forever Turned Around doesn’t focus on the end, but instead focuses on the ups and downs that contributed to Ehrlich and Kakacek’s dynamic narrative. It bares the scars of burdensome relationships, yet takes a peaceful, reflective assessment on their emotional expeditions to fairly balance melancholy with maturation.
Although Whitney’s history has been short, Ehrlich and Kakacek have never sounded more symbiotic. The Chicago-based duo’s second album is instrumentally and conceptually complex, but the end product sounds extremely uncomplicated. It’s sentimental in nature and effortless to consume. It’s exactly the type of content fit to soundtrack the first golden hour of the late summer, demanding you pull up a lawn chair, dust off your old sweatshirt, and reminisce with close friends about everything that made these last few months special.
Favorite Tracks: Giving Up, Valleys (My Love), Used To Be Lonely, Rhododendron, Before I Know It