The breeze rises as the sun falls, dipping down until only its corona casts a lazy, hazy orange across the horizon. You make your way up the winding, half-trodden trail, the never-cut grass brushing against your thighs, the wildflowers arcing towards the last light, stopping only when you reach the very edge of the promontory so that as you sway forward it feels as if you are floating in the air. You wrap your arms around your chest, the overlong sleeves of your jumper covering all but the tips of your fingers and take a deep breath. Your eyes flit across the water, chasing the diamond glitter of light as it ripples across the surface, and you realise that you’re smiling. This is the sound of Whitney.
Light Upon The Lake is a wandering wisp of an album, as slight as a fading shadow, as brief as a passing thought, yet warm and comforting like a meal prepared by your mother. It stands at barely 30 minutes and stands tall.
It begins with a sleepy stir of organ and a triumphant blur of soulful horns. No Woman dawdles across the landscape, a steam train on its last journey, held together by fuzzy threads of guitar and close harmonies:
Golden Days is a sauntering swish of nostalgia, its guitar work synthesised wholly and beautifully from Neil Young’s back catalogue. At their best Whitney sound effortless, like they’re not even trying to break your heart:
It may be a debut record but there are break-away moments in this record. The promise of new ground to be explored. Red Moon is Americana breaking into jazz, road music that doesn’t quite last to the end of the road:
Whitney’s music has presence. As if it has always been here, a graceful simplicity just waiting for a listener. Close you eyes and feel the fading warmth of the sun. You can buy Light Upon The Lake here.