In music, you can have your own sound and someone will more than likely say that it’s not your own. However, when you look at Chicago’s Whitney, it’s hard to say that their sound is anything but their own. While their are pieces that remind you of something played on AM radio forty years ago, the way their new album Forever Turned Around plays out brings out the realization that they’re doing everything originally without much influence outside of themselves. With themes of loss and longing, the album revolves around how so much can change so quickly, while we the listeners get to exist in the world the band creates.
With falsetto vocals either singular or dual, the opening track lays the groundwork for what the album will evolve into on “Giving Up.” The song feels like a letter to a friend that was never delivered while the tones underneath the words evoke a happier time. The band adds lush melodies and string arrangements to the experience with “Used To Be Lonely,” upping the ante on how far they can delve into their own ethos. It’s not self-love, but they tend to go down paths within the music that open each track up like a treasure chest.
While “Before I Know It” has a happy-go-lucky pacing and “Valleys (My Love)” continue the seventies pop meets singer songwriter realm in which the album exists, the true sorcery comes when the band expands beyond what your ears are expecting. “My Life Alone” has this endearing twang that feels like if Big Star were covering Jackson Browne, though the song has such an abundance of stunning notes, that you could take it as an instrumental and still enjoy all that’s there. The band continues this adoration with heavy instrumentation on “Rhododendron,” expanding their overall presence while still sounding like themselves. With the way they utilize vocal harmonies, with all of the touches of jazz, pop and soul that find their way into the arrangements, Forever Turned Around mixes the best parts of time while never locking into one capsule and expanding on a world that was already impressive.
Forever Turned Around will be made available to stream when it gets released tomorrow. It can be pre-ordered directly from Secretly Canadian on multiple formats and bundles, or purchased from all digital outlets. Whitney is on tour starting September 09 in Bloomington, IN at The Bluebird until December 08 in Chicago, IL at Thalia Hall. The band’s complete tour roster is available here.
Image Credits: Photo by Olivia Bee.