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Whitney – the Chicago-based band led by vocalist/drummer Julien Ehrlich and guitarist Max Kakacek – return with a loving tribute to songs that have been formative and lasting to the entire band, in new singles “Take Me Home, Country Roads” and “Rain”, out May 28th via Secretly Canadian. The songs are the band’s first output since the release of their acclaimed second album, 2019’s Forever Turned Around.
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.
Katie Crutchfield of Waxahatchee joins the band for their rendition of John Denver’s “Take Me Home, Country Roads,” with Ehrlich and Crutchfield’s voices merging for a joyous harmony over the chorus. “We knew that Katie was destined to sing this with us. We both heard her live and she has this classic country vibe. Once we heard her voice on it, it was pretty much magical. Her contribution is perfect,” Kakacek explains.
On the band’s rendition of SWV’s ’90s R&B heater “Rain”, Ehrilch adds: “My relationship with SWV goes back to my UMO days, when I was 19 in the van and listening to ‘Right Here’. I’ve been obsessed with them since I was a teenager. The song interpolates Jaco Pastorious’ ‘Portrait of Tracy’, which is one of my favorite basslines ever.”
Matt Wilkinson premiered “Take Me Home, Country Roads” on his Beats 1 “First Play” Radio Show on Apple Music at 11am BST on Tuesday May 26th.
Also announced: Whitney will be performing a Livestream Event on Thursday June 4th – 5 PST / 8 EST via NoonChorus – with proceeds to benefit the National Independent Venue Association (NIVA – NIVASSOC.org). Tickets available at: https://noonchorus.com/whitney/
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