whitney

Whitney & Songs About Quitting Work

While critical and commercially successful "soft rock" music is rare in 2019, the Chicago band Whitney found a way to make it sound fresh and indie. This week, Jim and Greg talk with the two main members of the band about how they came to their unique sound and their new album Forever Turned Around, released August 30th. Plus, in honor of Labor Day, the hosts select their favorite songs about quitting work.

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Songs About Quitting Work

In honor of Labor Day, Jim and Greg thought they would be a touch contrarian and share some of their favorite songs about quitting a job!

interview

Interview: Whitney

Max and Julien In 2014, Max Kakacek and Julien Ehrlich were members of Smith Westerns, touring extensively behind their third album, Soft Will. By the end of that year, the band had broken up and Max and Julien were hanging around cheap Chicago apartments, enduring a brutal winter. One day to amuse themselves they wrote a song together and recorded it. The results surprised them- the finished product ("Dave's Song") was too good to just be a joke.

The duo kept at it, drawing on three main musical inspirations: The Band, Donnie and Joe Emerson and Amanaz. Julien and Max explain to Jim and Greg that Levon Helm's singing and drumming, Donnie and Joe's male falsetto singing and Amanaz's soulful off-kilter guitar were all appealing to them. The synthesis of these sounds comes through clearly on Whitney's 2016 debut, Light Upon the Lake, which Jim describes as "classic indie rock with a little Chicago soul."

After the album's lead single, "No Woman," started to catch fire, the band was able to tour Europe multiple times. It was a far cry from their earliest tours, when the seven-piece band shared one ten-person tent (and Julien and bassist Josiah Marshall slept on bunk bed cots).

Now the release date of their sophomore album, Forever Turned Around, has been declared“Whitney Day”by Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot. Julien tells Jim and Greg that on Forever Turned Around they were trying to evoke the constant state of flux many people feel now without being too much of a bummer.

Featured Songs

  1. Whitney, Giving Up, Forever Turned Around, Secretly Canadian, 2019
  2. Jimmy Reed, Big Boss Man, Found Love, Vee-Jay, 1960
  3. Johnny Paycheck, Take This Job and Shove It, Take This Job and Shove It, Epic, 1977
  4. Canibus and Biz Markie, Shove This Jay Oh Bee, Office Space Bonus Soundtrack, Interscope, 1999
  5. Descendents, I Quit, Merican, Fat Wreck Chords, 2004
  6. Bob Dylan, Maggie's Farm, Bringing It All Back Home, Columbia, 1965
  7. Beck, Soul Suckin' Jerk, Mellow Gold, Geffen, 1994
  8. Wire, Mr Suit, Pink Flag, Harvest, 1977
  9. Whitney, Used To Be Lonely, Forever Turned Around, Secretly Canadian, 2019
  10. Whitney, No Woman, Light Upon the Lake, Secretly Canadian, 2016
  11. Smith Westerns, 3AM Spiritual, Soft Will, Mom + Pop, 2013
  12. Whitney, Dave's Song, Light Upon the Lake, Secretly Canadian, 2016
  13. Whitney, Golden Days, Light Upon the Lake, Secretly Canadian, 2016
  14. The Band, The Weight, Music from Big Pink, Capitol, 1968
  15. Donnie and Joe Emerson, Baby, Dreamin' Wild, Enterprise & Co., 1979
  16. Aminoz, Khala My Friend, Africa, Zambia Music Parlor, 1975
  17. Whitney, No Matter Where We Go, Light Upon the Lake, Secretly Canadian, 2016
  18. Whitney, Polly, Light Upon the Lake, Secretly Canadian, 2016
  19. Whitney, Valleys (My Love), Forever Turned Around, Secretly Canadian, 2019
  20. Whitney, Gonna Hurry (As Slow As I Can), (Single), Secretly Canadian, 2017
  21. Dolly Parton, Gonna Hurry (As Slow As I Can) (Demo), Dolly, RCA, 2009
  22. Whitney, Forever Turned Around, Forever Turned Around, Secretly Canadian, 2019
  23. Whitney, Rhododendron, Forever Turned Around, Secretly Canadian, 2019
  24. The Bar-Kays, Soul Finger, Soul Finger, Volt, 1967
  25. The Sylvers, Hot Line, Something Special, Capitol, 1976
  26. George Harrison, Beware of Darkness (feat. Leon Russell), The Concert for Bangladesh (Live), Apple, 1971
  27. Michael Jackson, Beat It, Thriller, Epic, 1982
  28. The Rolling Stones, Gimme Shelter, Let It Bleed, Decca, 1969
  29. Queen & David Bowie, Under Pressure, Hot Space, EMI, 1982