Light Upon The Lake Album Review
Released June 3, 2016
Genre: Indie Rock, Folk Rock, Soft Rock, Pop Rock, Country Soul
Former Smith Westerns guitarist Max Kakacek and former Unknown Mortal Orchestra drummer/Smith Westerns member Julien Ehrlich can do just fine on their own. After leaving the aforementioned indie heavyweights, the two have managed to craft another ‘supergroup’ of their own evoking the earnestness and vulnerability of 60s soft rock with all the showiness, confidence, and charm of modern bands such as Girls.
The band’s magic doesn’t lie in their past experience and musicianship, but rather their unique sound. Ehrlich’s solemn and vulnerable voice evokes a sense of melancholy yet with an odd sense of redemption and projected happiness – as if he knows everything is going to turn out all right. Complimenting his unique vocal delivery is an equally impressive musical arsenal: bright cheery guitar leads and solos punctuate the apt moments on numerous tracks (the piercing solo halfway through “Dave’s Song”) and the light and sweet ditty on “No Woman”. Whitney manages to pack in charm into a frolicking trip through light and breezy rock n’ roll.
The album’s highlight, and go-to song of the summer, “Golden Days” is elevated to feeling of absolute joy with some showy horns to its jumpy demeanor. “On My Own’ brings about similar feelings of innocence reminiscent of Buddy Holly before the notes bend to another style hidden within. The instrumental ‘Red Moon’ proves that the two can have some fun, while showing the world that when you’re no longer part of two ‘Tier-1’ indie bands, there’s a reason you were there in the first place. All that matters is what you do next.
Light Upon The Lake is one of the best albums from 2016, and a strong indicator of the future success of Whitney.
PRETTY NEAT MUSIC
FAV TRACKS: No Woman, The Falls, Golden Days, Dave’s Song, Light Upon The Lake, No Matter Where We Go, On My Own, Polly, Follow
LEAST FAV TRACK: Red Moon (if i had to choose one)