WHITNEY - CANDID
WHITNEY - CANDID
WHITNEY - CANDID

WHITNEY - CANDID

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Whitney, Candid

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. C andid 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.

Recorded in January and February of 2020 over multiple sessions at Treehouse Studios in

Chicago and Flora Recording and Playback in Portland , Candid finally sees the full touring band

in a recording studio together. " This is the first time we really saw what the live iteration of

Whitney sounds like in a studio. It was a really celebratory vibe and everyone in the room fed off

each other's energy," says guitarist Max Kakacek. It's the band's best reflection so far of their

triumphant live show as most of these renditions were recorded live. Featuring keyboardist

Malcolm Brown, bassist Josiah Marshall, trumpeter Will Miller, as well as guitarists Print

Chouteau and Ziyad Asrar, the entire live unit is firing at all cylinders thanks to its tight-knit and

road-tested relationship.

Their chemistry exudes throughout the tracklist but it's especially apparent when they open up

the dynamic to their friends, like Katie Crutchfield of Waxahatchee joining John Denver's "Take

Me Home, Country Roads." On the cover of the classic, Ehrlich and Crutchfield's voices merge

for a joyous harmony over the chorus. Over eight days at Treehouse Studios, the band would

show up in the morning, learn a song together, and choose an instrument, leading to a

freewheeling and adventurous atmosphere. Their renditions of SWV's '90s R&B heater "Rain" or

David Byrne and Brian Eno's 2008 track "Strange Overtones" prove this, as they stretch

Whitney into new musical directions.

"We love these songs and all have an emotional connection to each one, but we really wanted

to see if we could take the skeleton of each track and approach it in a way that felt new. We

didn't want to recreate what any of these artists already did," says Kakacek. This is most evident

on Candid opener "Bank Head," which tackles the sparse and hypnotic electronic single by

Kelela. Ehrlich adds, “ It's something we've never done before and probably a direction that we

want to explore in our future albums” he continues, “ We knew we couldn't beat these

songwriters at their own game. Instead, we wanted to find songs that were great at their core

and could be reimagined.”

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.

-Josh Terry

May 4, 2020

Chicago, IL

Following their acclaimed sophomore album Forever Turned Around , Whitney have returned

with Candid , a 10-song collection boasting covers of artists like Kelela, David Byrne, John

Denver, SWV, and more. Covers have always been an integral part of the band’s ethos, with

renditions of classics by Allen Toussaint, Dolly Parton, and Neil Young a highlight of their

setlists for half of a decade. But for Candid, Whitney decided to challenge themselves, finding

their favorite songs that also fell outside of their musical comfort zone. Marking the first time the

full touring band was in a recording studio together, they hashed out these covers after a tour

over sessions in Chicago and Portland. "This could've been as simple as we really just love

these songs and we love our bandmates and making a covers record just felt right but this was

a bit of an exercise to see how we can evolve as a band going forward,” says drummer and

singer Julien Ehrlich. He adds, “We knew we couldn't beat these songwriters at their own game.

Instead, we wanted to find songs that were great at their core and could be molded into our own

thing.”

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