COVERS ALBUM OF THE WEEK 2: The Chicago indie-folk outfit apply their light, charmingly soulful touch to a diverse collection of lesser-known gems by artists like Kelela, Blaze Foley and Damien Jurado. A softly grooving take on David Byrne and Brian Eno’s Strange Overtones and a mellow rendition of John Denver’s Take Me Home, Country Roads (featuring Waxahatchee’s Katie Crutchfield) are the most instantly recognizable numbers — though Whitney’s tender, inspired reworkings will very likely inspire you to seek out some of the originals.
THE PRESS RELEASE: “Covers have long been an integral part of Whitney’s ethos. Ever since the band first formed in a Chicago apartment in 2014, tackling songs by the Everly Brothers, Allen Toussaint and more played an important part in the songwriting process for their breakthrough 2016 debut Light Upon The Lake. Since then, their takes on NRBQ’s Magnet and Neil Young’s On the Way Home have become live staples, an essential and communal part of their sets. Their love for the music that makes up their deepest influences has always been genuine and tangible. Following their acclaimed sophomore 2019 album Forever Turned Around, Whitney have decided to return with a loving tribute to songs that have been formative and lasting to the entire band. Candid is a 10-song collection boasting covers of artists like Kelela, David Byrne, John Denver, SWV, and others but it’s also a band challenging themselves to explore more than their musical comfort zone. “This could’ve been as simple as saying we really love these songs and we love our bandmates and making a covers record just felt right but it truly became an exploration into how we can evolve as a band going forward,” says drummer and singer Julien Ehrlich. At its core, Candid is a celebration of both the songs Whitney has adored throughout its formation and the band’s evolving bond through years of relentless touring and an enduring friendship. “One thing we realized is how these songwriters could make amazing songs with so much simplicity. Taking these skeletons and working with this incredible material means we’re keeping our chops and staying tight as a band,” says Ehrlich. The LP is a sincere snapshot of their evolving and eclectic tastes that’s imbued with a wholly inviting charm. It’s Whitney at their most unvarnished and inventive but most importantly, it’s a heartfelt tribute to the songwriters who’ve helped them most.”