Indie Band Whitney Talks Their New Album ‘SPARK’
, 2022-09-14 07:20:34,
Julien Ehrlich and Max Kakachek of the Chicago-based indie duo Whitney have been going golfing a lot. At first they got into it “ironically,” and because it was one of the few activities during the pandemic that forced them out of the house for hours at a time. The two musicians are certain they stand out on the golf course—their tight jeans and Ehrlich’s bleach-blonde hair looking quite the opposite of the insurance salesmen types they’re often paired with for 18 holes—but it’s something they’ve picked up and kept doing, despite being pretty bad at it.
They’ve also been making a lot of meals together in their shared Chicago walkup. Unlike golfing, they admit to being good at cooking, with guitarist Kakachek on grilling duty and drummer/vocalist Ehrlich on his “soup and sauce game,” or “going crazy” with salads. After living together for nearly 10 years (save for a two-year break when they lived with their respective partners), Kakachek says the Whitney boys now have a “proper domestic life.” They’ve leveled up from the apartment they shared in their early 20s that didn’t have a working doorknob, and now try to make time to do the things that bring them joy, whether that’s an afternoon golf outing or preparing a lamb ragu before hitting up their favorite bars.
Whitney is synonymous with Chicago. The two first played in the Pitchfork-core garage rock group Smith Westerns in the early 2010s before the group disbanded and they began working on music as a duo, coming up in the Chicago scene before the release of their instant classic 2016 alt-country debut Light Upon the Lake. They also seem right at home in New York City, though. Seated in the intimate tavern Achilles Heel in Greenpoint, Brooklyn on an August visit for a recording session and to promote their new album SPARK (out September 16 via Secretly Canadian), they can’t help but indulge in memories of their past trips and tours through the city. At Achilles Heel, for instance, an old friend is among the bartenders. The intimate gastropub may look like a cozy haunt with its rustic interior and tin ceiling, but it’s often where Whitney ends up after a night out to keep the good times going. It’s also where they’ve ushered many friends-of-friends through and even members of their record label Secretly Canadian, which used to have an office down the street, connecting them with their friend behind the bar. They also have a long history with the Williamsburg venue Baby’s All Right. There, they’ve…
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