As members of sadly disbanded Chicagoans’ Smith Westerns, Max Kakacek and Julian Ehrlich have gathered notable experience in their many travels around the world – something which quite fittingly leads us to ‘No Woman‘, the first we’ve heard of their new band Whitney. Newly signed to Secretly Canadian, the group (who play as an encompassing seven-piece live) are slowly beginning to piece together something incredibly engaging.

No Woman‘ blossoms slowly yet hits with immediacy – the organic purity of Max Kakacek’s brightly orchestrated guitar and Julian Ehrlich’s fragile vocal the embodiment of soul searching and new adventures. The sporadic percussion layered throughout accompanies the track rather than controlling it’s melancholic vibes – further displaying the group’s penchant for atmospheric quality within their writing. It’s folky melancholic structure is injected with a soulful heart – courtesy again of Ehrlich’s enunciated croon and sorrowful comfort of the sole trumpet. It suitably equips the group to draw out the track’s theme – uprooting to different climates in search of identity.

I’ve been going through a change / I might never be sure // I’ve been walking in a haze // i’m not ready to turn.”

Disorientated yet undefeated, Ehrlich isn’t afraid to face his loneliness – yet is hesitant to open himself up to to the vulnerability of conventional and habitual love. Still hung up on the sentimental memories of his time away – “midnight driving through the bay / going back on the road” – he uses ‘No Woman‘ as rare deliverance to exorcise his insecurities and begin to find a road to emotional recovery.

With ‘No Woman’, Whitney have very quickly emerged as empathetic authors of relatable experiences – and the passionate feelings said experiences exude.


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