ALBUM: Whitney – Forever Turned Around (2019) [FLAC 24/44,1]

Whitney – Forever Turned Around (2019)
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/44,1 kHz | Time – 32:20 minutes | 339 MB | Genre: Indie Folk, Indie Rock
Studio Master, Official Digital Download | Front Cover | © Secretly Canadian

Forever Turned Around came together over several sessions across the country. Though Julien Ehrlich is Whitney’s lead singing drummer while Max Kakacek is the lead guitarist, when writing, both transcend their roles to piece together each offering lyrically and compositionally. “The way it ends up working is one of us comes up with a basic idea for a song and the other person serves as the foil to complicate that idea. We ask, ‘What can we change to make it more interesting?’” says Kakacek. Challenging each other is the core of their songwriting partnership. It’s these risks and experiments that make Forever Turned Around a triumph. Take opener “Giving Up,” which started from a stream-of-conscious revelation when Ehrlich improvised the chorus while Kakacek played Wurlitzer. What began as a nod to Neil Young’s Live at Massey Hall 1971 in an afternoon turned into a heart-rending and relatable song about the ups and downs of long-term relationships. Over twinkling piano, Ehrlich sings, “Though we started losing touch / I’ve been hanging on because / You’re the only one I love.” He explains, “In a relationship, you don’t stay at the same level at all times. You go through weeks where you’re closed off.” After a session with producers Bradley Cook (Hand Habits, Hiss Golden Messenger) and Jonathan Rado (Weyes Blood, Father John Misty) helped color in the arrangements, the album truly revealed itself when they reunited with original rhythm guitarist Ziyad Asrar in his basement Chicago studio-the same place where they hashed out much of their critically acclaimed 2016 debut, Light Upon The Lake. “Getting down there was so important because we’ve always used that basement for music. The comfort and familiarity mattered but having Ziyad be a buffer between us was so helpful,” says Ehrlich. With Asrar, songs like “Song For Ty” and “Forever Turned Around” effortlessly came together. Restlessness is at the heart of Whitney’s resonant and stunning sophomore album Forever Turned Around. As Ehrlich and Kakacek realized life can change almost instantly. Priorities shift, relationships evolve, home can become far away, and even when luck momentarily works out, there’s still that underlying search for something better. Happiness can be fleeting but this album proves that even when it feels like time is turning on it’s head and there’s either a moment of clarity or crippling doubt, there’s still beauty in figuring it all out.

Three years separate Light Upon The Lake, Whitney’s brilliant debut album, from Forever Turned Around. In 2016, when Max Kakacek (former guitarist of the Smith Westerns) and Julien Ehrlich (former drummer of Unknown Mortal Orchestra) teamed up, their original take on rock, which was tinged with folk and soul, quickly earned them critical acclaim and a solid fan base. Their sound wasn’t unlike that of Girls (a group that Kakacek and Ehrlich often joined on tour), mixed with the melancholy found in Neil Young’s old acoustic records, Harry Nilsson’s ear for melody and Fleet Foxes’ careful arrangements… Our Chicago hipsters seem to have come straight out of sunny California in the seventies and here they are back for more with this second equally endearing opus. Nonchalance and evanescence are once again well-mastered on compositions that sometimes veer towards country, folk and soul – genres that are even more present than on Light Upon The Lake. Ultimately, Forever Turned Around has all the qualities of a timeless album, a nostalgic record saturated with the colours of an Indian summer… – Marc Zisman


01 – Giving Up
02 – Used To Be Lonely
03 – Before I Know It
04 – Song For Ty
05 – Valleys (My Love)
06 – Rhododendron
07 – My Life Alone
08 – Day & Night
09 – Friend Of Mine
10 – Forever Turned Around



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