What would you want out of your favorite show? You might be seeking the energy of an exciting show, or the intimacy of a small venue. Ultimately, you just want to have a fun time, but maybe you want more.
“Light Upon the Lake” is a brief 29-minute album released in June by Chicago-based band Whitney. Made up of the former members of indie pop bands Smith Westerns and Unknown Mortal Orchestra, Whitney is also playing this weekend at the Great Scott in Allston. If by chance, you aren’t quite ready for fall, I highly recommend going to this show. It’s going to be like a little slice of summer: probably not very long, but definitely glowing, fun and full of effortless enjoyment.
That’s why it’s the perfect show to go to if you, like me, hate dealing with change. If “Light Upon the Lake” is any indication of what the show might be like, we’re looking at something beautifully melodic in a summery, love-soaked way. And yes, the album cover is a rose branch, so I won’t try to convince you that the songs aren’t all about love. People will argue that they’re too self indulgent and whiny, but I disagree. They’re ballads that reflect on a love gone by. Yes, they follow the conventions, not unlike artists Real Estate, or Girls, of melancholy lyrics over upbeat melodies.
“Light Upon the Lake” won’t pull you into an emotional or existential rut. I don’t want to overblow its sadness, because in truth the lyrics are incredibly vague, and they’re accompanied by really joyful rhythms and vibrant, surf-rock guitars.
Put them together and you have something magnificently fun to listen to that’ll be over before you know it. Logistically it’s short, but the familiarity of the sounds and feelings are what truly shrinks it into a bite-sized bliss. I believe that this quality alone will translate really well into their performance this weekend. Everyone can think of an album or song that took them a lot of work, time or research to appreciate. Whitney isn’t like that — they’re all lovable from the start. Let yourself be swept away by them. There are gems to be enjoyed both on the album and in person. And, if the rumors are true, you might get a Bob Dylan cover, too.
Then there’s the added bonus of seeing them in the divey-gleam of the Great Scott, which “Consequence of Sound” voted the eighth best venue in America. This alone should make it hard to argue in favor of doing anything else the night before Columbus Day.
Even if it ends up being a short show, seeing the songs of “Light Upon the Lake” live is bound to make for a satisfying and assuredly fun time.