Whitney are back in a big, all-caps kind of way to announce the new album SPARK. It’s out September 16th via Secretly Canadian, and to herald its coming, the Chicago duo have shared the lead single, “REAL LOVE,” as well as an expansive run of 2022 tour dates. Tickets are available here.
SPARK comes on the heels of the 2020 covers album, Candid, and is the studio follow-up to 2019’s Forever Turned Around. Guitarist Max Kakacek and drummer Julien Ehrlich initially struggled with these songs, not to mention the COVID-19 pandemic that took Kakacek’s grandfather in December of 2020. But eventually, never-ending lockdowns came to feel like, if not a blessing, then at least a boon to the writing process.
“We had time to just sit and watch the body of work grow in real time,” Ehrlich said in a statement. “We were just stacking stronger and stronger songs on top of each other.” Kakacek added, “Our favorite way to make records, the way we made the first one.”
But that doesn’t mean the sound is the same. Whitney’s psych-folk aesthetic has evolved on “REAL LOVE,” with lightly-filtered keyboards and crisp drums pushed to the fore of the mix like you might hear in hip-hop or dance. “Max and I wrote ‘REAL LOVE’ in June 2021 right after a cross country move back to Chicago,” Ehrlich said. “I was experiencing heightened levels of anxiety and panic, while the entire city was re-emerging from isolation. I’ve been running away from and self medicating my anxiety for as long as I can remember, but for whatever reason, it felt like it was time to dive straight into it.