FIRST LISTEN

Reviewing records from interesting bands on the first listen.

 
 
 
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WHITNEY / FOREVER TURNED AROUND

Light Upon The Lake was one of my favourite albums of 2018. It was released in 2016 but I didn’t discover it until later on, closer to the time they release the acoustic/demos version. It swung between perfect moments of Brian Wilson and Simon & Garfunkel. It made you listen with reflection. It also offered wonder into the two piece (clearly a songwriting-only formation) and their ability as musicians. Known perhaps more esoterically as former members of Smith Westerns, there was an educated feel and a traditional timelessness.

If Light Upon… was the moment Whitney became wiser than their counterparts, Forever Turned Around introduces you to its soft-spoken younger brother. Gracefully tip-toeing in its own leafy world, these songs aren’t so euphoric as they are measured. Instead of the instantaneous hits found on Light Upon… (No Woman, Golden Days, No Matter Where We Go), there’s more subtlety on numbers like My Life Alone and Before I Know It. Both find the articulated pocket.

This is an album’s album – I won’t be listening to individual tracks, though Used To Be Lonely would likely find its way onto a cooking playlist. It’s not challenging but it offers a glorious backdrop to your day. While moments soar close to the high street coffee shop speakers, Max Kakacek and Julien Ehrlich’s soulful high-frequencies are instantly fanciful.