Whitney returns with a groovy, synth-tinged sound on its new song “Real Love,” the first single from its forthcoming Secretly Canadian album Spark (due September 16). An accompanying video for the track, directed by Aaron Brown, is also a departure for Whitney, with its psychedelic imagery and disco ball shimmer adding to the vibes.
Whitney, now a duo comprised of Julien Ehlrich and Max Kakacek, recorded Spark with producers Brad Cook and John Congleton. Work began on the project when both musicians found themselves in Portland at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. “We had time to just sit and watch the body of work grow in real time,” Ehlrich says. “We were just stacking stronger and stronger songs on top of each other.” Adds Kakacek, “[This is] our favorite way to make records — the way we made the first one.”
Ehlrich says “Real Love” was written in June 2021 “right after a cross country move back to Chicago. 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. During late night sessions over a two-week period, we captured the embrace of anxiety and fear in a way that resonated with us immediately. We spent the next few summer nights driving on Ashland with the windows down and the song turned up. It felt like an emotional and musical burst of light and we’re so grateful to finally be sharing that with people.”
Whitney begins a fall tour Sept. 29 in Davenport, Ia., which includes a three-week European run in November.
Whitney Spark track listing:
“Never Crossed My Mind”
“Heart Will Beat”