200 W. Second St
Pomona, CA, 91766
Doors 7:00 PM / Show 8:00 PM
This event is all ages
Whitney make casually melancholic music that combines the wounded drawl of Townes Van Zandt, the rambunctious energy of Jim Ford, the stoned affability of Bobby Charles, the American otherworldliness of The Band, and the slack groove of early Pavement. Their debut, Light Upon the Lake, is due in June on Secretly Canadian, and it marks the culmination of a short, but incredibly intense, creative period for the band. To say that Whitney is more than the sum of its parts would be a criminal understatement. Formed from the core of guitarist Max Kakacek and singing drummer Julien Ehrlich, the band itself is something bigger, something visionary, something neither of them could have accomplished alone. The band itself is something bigger, something visionary, something neither of them could have accomplished alone.
Ehrlich had been a member of Unknown Mortal Orchestra, but left to play drums for the Smith Westerns, where he met guitarist Kakacek. That group burned brightly but briefly, disbanding in 2014 and leaving its members adrift. Brief solo careers and side-projects abounded, but nothing clicked. Making everything seem all the more fraught: both of them were going through especially painful breakups almost simultaneously, the kind that inspire a million songs, and they emerged emotionally bruised and lonelier than ever.
Julie Byrne doesn't sing her ice-crusted songs so much as murmur them beneath her breath. And "finger-picking," while accurate, feels far too percussive a word for her guitar playing; it's more like she brushes the strings with her fingertips, like wisps of hair obscuring her vision. Live clips show Byrne performing to reverent groups of three or four in cafes, where she barely rises above the sound of milk steamers and muffled coughing. Her album, Rooms With Walls & Windows, feels like a secret she's keeping from you, even when it is safely in your headphones.
- Jayson Greene / Pitchfork