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Whitney is Back

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After three years of silence, the lo-fi country-infused rock artists have returned with two new singles. Will they be able to prove they are still relevant or has their prime time officially passed?

FTA

FTA courtesy of Stereogum

The first new single from Whitney was released back on June 3. It was put out exclusively through Youtube, a choice that seemed strange until I actually listened to the track came out. Then it became clear: this is not the full track.

FTA starts off with a somber fingerpicked guitar, instantly invoking a nostalgia that only Whitney is capable of pulling off. The track remains mostly instrumental for the first half, with a simple kick drum, slide guitar, and strings filling in the composition. Finally, a minute and a half in, Ehrlich‘s signature falsetto drifts in, drawing the short track to a conclusion.

For a track that the band is naming their new album after (releasing August 30), the song is incredibly brief. Not only that, but the vocals feel like part of something much bigger than Ehrlich reveals in the youtube video. Without a doubt, this beautiful folk tune is only a portion of the full track, Whitney refusing to play their full hand before the release of their album. Regardless of its brevity, the song promises a lot for the future of the band.

Julien Ehrlich, Courtesy of Famousbirthdays

Giving Up

Unlike FTA, Giving Up is most definitely a full-length track. The song carries out a similar air of somberness as the first release, coming off as quiet and powerful at the same time. Half way through the track, miraculously smooth horns dominate the track, holding back just enough to keep the mood where it is meant to be. The simple chorus echoing “giving up” adds to the melancholy feel of it all.

The track reveals Ehrlich‘s maturity as a singer, the control of his voice improving immensely since the band’s debut album. The instrumentals are better mixed, as well, providing an overall more polished experience than Light Upon the Lake. This isn’t to say that Light Upon the Lake is not brilliant in its own right, but more so to get across how monumental the band’s improvement is.

Ultimately, the one and a half new singles from Whitney show great promise for fans of the band’s nostalgic sound. The band has, without a doubt, put their time off to good use, perfecting their instrumentals and vocals in order to create a defining album experience, sure to blow people away at the end of the summer. With the release of their new album coming around the corner, I am confident that Whitney is back and they are better than ever.

Stream “Giving Up” Below

Daniel Friedland

Journalism Intern at Red Roll
I am a sophomore English student at DePaul University. Previously, I studied Music Business and Recording Technology at University of Wisconsin Oshkosh. My love for music goes beyond just journalism, as I have played the violin since I was 3. When I'm not involved with writing or music, I can be found playing on the DePaul Ultimate frisbee team.
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