Max Kakacek (Smith Westerns) and drummer Julien Ehrlich (Unknown Mortal Orchestra) have combined to form Whitney. Their new album is sweet, a little brassy and conjures the best of ’70s soft rock. They’re at Holocene on Aug. 3.
If you haven’t heard of them, it is probably not your fault. They’re still so new they are hidden from the Google grid and nearly all American journals and blogs have yet to start talking about them. But that doesn’t mean you haven’t heard them. Etiquette is the intriguing (and romantic) unification of indie-pop songwriter Julie Fader and Graham Walsh of Holy Fuck—two prominent figures in Toronto’s esteemed indie music scene. Or maybe you recognize Graham Walsh’s name from the recently released album by Viet Cong (see album review in this issue) which he produced. It is also possible you’ve had the misfortune of encountering an American heavy-metal-folk hip hop troupe that go by the name The Etiquette—that is a much different band and you’d do best to forget the name affiliation.
For those who have heard these two’s other projects and songs, you can get a pretty good idea of what their sound will be like when blended together—as they didn’t reinvent their own wheels to make their new songs work. One of the things that made Holy Fuck special is their authentic use of electronic instruments, e.g. synthesizers, keyboards, toy guns, and basically anything electronic that makes a noise, without utilizing computers and looping technology. The same technique that made those Holy Fuck songs genuine craftsmanship are utilized by Walsh in his new partnership with Fader. Fader’s roots in indie rock are much different, taking the classic female singer-songwriter path, i.e. a beautiful woman, beautiful guitar, a beautiful voice singing about really sad shit in a good way. Take those two concepts, add a dash of sexy, and then fuse them together and—BLAM!—you will have an accurate, albeit elementary, understanding of what it is like to experience Etiquette’s music without even needing to use the internet! The band is set to release their first album, Reminisce, this month. »
– Billy Dye