As one of the most genuine indie rock bands today, Whitney has every characteristic of being a long-lasting force in music. Its latest album, Forever Turned Around, is a lighthearted note of pureness among other, less believable bands.
Whitney somehow has found a way to fuse jazz, folk, funk and big band music. Its music dips in and out of genres, never overstaying its welcome in any, but the music remains reliably Whitney: soft, yet danceable, holding onto its signature falsettos and trumpets.
Forever Turned Around is a fresh start from a fairly new band, starting off with a morning image in “Giving Up.” The track’s light piano notes and slightly mathy guitar riffs are feathery and warm, and the softness of lead singer and drummer Julien Ehrlich’s falsetto is sincere.
The band breaks further from its soft rock roots, though, with “Rhododendron,” an instrumental with jazz trumpets that pushes the album away from soft rock and folk. The song’s trumpets are familiarly Whitney, but the riffs stray less toward organized and more toward freeform jazz. The music sounds like it’s lifted from different areas in history, but Whitney can’t be pinned down to a specific influence or genre.
Almost all of Whitney’s music speaks to the listener’s emotions, but none do it more elegantly than “Valleys (My Love).” The song comforts the listener into falling in love with the album. It hums gently, trumpets calling out and keys yearning for something it once knew.
Aside from those songs, though, the album lives within the constraints of the band’s first release, 2016’s Light Upon the Lake. A new album should sound unfamiliar, but Forever Turned Around comforts the listener back into Whitney’s gentle embrace.
Familiarity isn’t detrimental, though. Forever Turned Around is just Whitney’s second album, so the band has time to adapt its sound. While its newest release isn’t a breakaway from its last, it shows potential for growth in the future.
After two heavenly releases, Whitney won’t be quick to leave indie-rock’s gaze. Forever Turned Around is an album that tightens the band’s hold on listeners. It leaves listeners nostalgic for more, waiting for the next release to which they’ll drift off in a daydream.