Whitney Return With New Album ‘SPARK’ Out 9/16

Whitney, the Chicago duo of Julien Ehlrich and Max Kakacek, return with the announcement of their third album, SPARK, out September 16th on Secretly Canadian, and present its lead single/video, “REAL LOVE.” The band also announces a North American tour, on sale Friday, June 17 at 9am local time, and an EU/UK tour on sale later this month. SPARK reintroduces Whitney as a contemporary syndicate of classic pop, its dozen imaginative and endearing tracks wrap fetching melodies around paisley-print Dilla beats and luxuriant electronics. However surprising it may sound, SPARK is less a radical reinvention for Whitney than an honest accounting of how it feels when you move out of your past and into your present, when you take the next steps of your lives and careers at once and without apology. SPARK maintains the warmth and ease of Whitney’s early work; these songs glow with the newness of now.

The start of SPARK traces back to the surprise success of Whitney’s 2016 debut, Light Upon the Lake. Its softly distorted psych-folk dreams found a wide audience more readily than the pair ever expected; after years of ceaseless touring, they felt compelled to plug into the same sound for round two, 2019’s Forever Turned Around. As the sessions progressed, though, they became a slog, as Julien and Max worked to be versions of themselves they no longer were, to write songs in a mold that no longer fit. “What are we doing? How do we fix this, together?” Max remembers often asking Julien, as they contended with broken tape machines that felt like metaphors. This no longer felt like their music, but a vestige of their initial enthusiasm. They barely had enough material or energy to finish.

Max and Julien knew a drastic change was necessary, but they never envisioned, of course, international lockdowns would facilitate it. Weeks after Julien decamped to Portland to clear his head after the end of a years-long relationship, Max followed, hoping to escape the tail of a long Chicago winter with his best friend and co-writer. Four days later, flights were grounded. Upcoming tours were canceled. For the next 14 months, they dug in with a zeal and determination that recalled their start, before success set expectations. “We had time to just sit and watch the body of work grow in real time,” Julien says. “We were just stacking stronger and stronger songs on top of each other.” Max picks up his thought: “Our favorite way to make records, the way we made the first one.

SPARK Tracklist
Whitney Tour Dates:
Thu. Sep. 29 – Davenport, IA @ Raccoon Motel
Fri. Sep. 30 – Minneapolis, MN @ First Ave
Sat. Oct. 1 – Milwaukee, WI @ Pabst Theater
Mon. Oct. 3 – Fort Collins, CO @ The Aggie
Tue. Oct. 4 – Denver, CO @ Gothic Theatre
Wed. Oct. 5 – Albuquerque, NM @ Sunshine Theater
Fri. Oct. 7 – Oklahoma City, OK @ Jones Assembly
Sat. Oct. 8 – Columbia, MO @ Blue Note
Sun. Oct. 9 – St Louis, MO @ Delmar Hall
Tue. Oct. 11 – Oxford, MS @ The Lyric
Wed. Oct. 12 – Birmingham, AL @ Saturn
Fri. Oct. 14 – Miami, FL @ Miami Beach Bandshell
Sat. Oct. 15 – Tampa, FL @ The Orpheum
Mon. Oct. 17 – Orlando, FL @ House of Blues
Wed. Oct. 19 – Jacksonville, FL @ Intuition Ale Works
Thu. Oct. 20 – Atlanta, GA @ Variety Playhouse
Sat. Oct. 22 – Athens, GA @ Georgia Theatre
Sun. Oct. 23 – Asheville, NC @ The Orange Peel
Mon. Oct. 24 – Charleston, SC @ Music Farm
Tue. Oct. 25 – Carrboro, NC @ Cat’s Cradle
Wed. Oct. 26 – Charlottesville, VA @ Jefferson Theater
Fri. Oct. 28 – Nashville, TN @ Eastside Bowl
Sun. Oct. 30 – Indianapolis, IN @ The Vogue
Sun. Nov. 6 – Paris, FR @ Trabendo
Tue. Nov. 8 – Antwerp, BE @ De Roma
Wed. Nov. 9 – Amsterdam, NL @ Paradiso
Thu. Nov. 10 – Cologne, DE @ Bürgerhaus Stollwerck
Fri. Nov. 11 – Munich, DE @ Freiheizhalle
Sat. Nov. 12 – Zurich, CH @ Mascotte
Sun. Nov. 13 – Berlin, DE @ Columbia Theater
Tue. Nov. 15 – Hamburg, DE @ Mojo Club
Wed. Nov. 16 – Copenhagen, DK @ VEGA
Thu. Nov. 17 – Oslo, NO @ Rockefeller
Fri. Nov. 18 – Stockholm, SE @ Nalen
Sat. Nov. 19 – Gothenburg, SE @ Pustervik
Sun. Nov. 20 – Aarhus, DK @ Voxhall
Tue. Nov. 22 – Bristol, UK @SWX
Wed. Nov. 23 – London, UK @ O2 Academy Brixton
Thu. Nov. 24 – Manchester, UK @ Albert Hall
Fri. Nov. 25 – Glasgow, UK @ QMU
Sun. Nov. 27 – Dublin, IE @ The Academy
Thu. Dec. 8 – Columbus, OH @ Newport Music Hall
Fri. Dec. 9 – Silver Spring, MD @ The Fillmore Silver Spring
Sat. Dec. 10 – Philadelphia, PA @ Union Transfer
Sun. Dec. 11 – New York, NY @ Webster Hall
Wed. Dec. 14 – Pittsburgh, PA @ Spirit
Thu. Dec. 15 – Toronto, ON @ Phoenix Theatre
Fri. Dec. 16 – Detroit, MI @ The Crofoot
Wed. Dec. 21 – Chicago, IL @ Thalia Hall
Thu. Dec. 22 – Chicago, IL @ Thalia Hall
Fri. Dec. 23 – Chicago, IL @ Thalia Hall

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