Whitney at the Raccoon Motel -- December 4.

Sunday, December 4, 8 p.m.

Raccoon Motel, 315 East Second Street, Davenport IA

With their newest, critically acclaimed album Spark released on September 16, the rock and folk artists of Whitney headline a December 4 concert at Davenport's Raccoon Motel, their latest recording inspiring The A.V. Club to state, “If early tracks ‘Real Love,’ ‘Blue,’ and ‘Twirl,’ full of warm falsetto melodies and shimmering keyboards, offered a tantalizing taste of Whitney’s new direction, then the rest of Spark is sure to sate your appetite.”

Formed in Chicago in 2015 and signed to Secretly Canadian, Whitney originated shortly after the breakup of guitarist Max Kakacek's and drummer Julien Ehrlich's band Smith Westerns in 2014. As roommates, the duo shared songwriting duties while Ehrlich became the main vocalist. Initially, the band featured members of the Touching Voids, Ehrlich's previous band, and in June of 2015, Whitney made the song "No Matter Where We Go" available digitally through the Lead Riders label. It included former Smith Westerns member Ziyad Asrar on rhythm guitar, Malcolm Brown on keyboards, bassist Josiah Marshall, and brass player Will Miller, and during the year, the musicians played around 30 shows, mostly in support of other artists. This included Tobias Jesso Jr., who got the band in contact with Jonathan Rado, and in September, Whitney joined Rado at his Los Angeles home studio to record. The following January, Whitney released the single "No Woman" supported by a video and toured Europe in anticipation of an album, with the artists also featured on the 2016 edition of the SXSW festival.

In June of 2016, Whitney's debut album Light Upon the Lake was released, and the group embarked on their first headlining European tour. The musicians announced a new demos album with a previously unreleased song, "You and Me," early in 2017, and that march, Whitney released covers of two new songs: "You've Got a Woman" and "Gonna Hurry (As Slow as I Can)". Beyond that November's release of Light Upon the Lake: Demo Recordings, Whitney's sophomore album Forever Turned Around debuted in August of 2019. The recording was partly recorded at a winery in Cotati, California, and to celebrate its release, Chicago mayor Lori Lightfoot announced August 30 as Whitney Day. The following May, Whitney and the band Waxahatchee released covers of both "Take Me Home, Country Roads" and "Rain," and in August of 2020, Whitney released a 10-track album of covers titled Candid, along with single covers of "Strange Overtones" and the Roachs' "Hammond Song." Spark serves as the artists' most recent release to date, and the group's singular style has led The Guardian to rave, "Think Bon Iver, with elements of folk and country, only given a Chicago soul makeover."

Whitney plays their Davenport engagement on December 4 with an opening set by Squirrel Flower, admission to the 8 p.m. concert is $35, and more information and tickets are available by visiting TheRaccoonMotel.com.

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