Last we heard from Chicago duo Whitney they were releasing an underrated covers record, but they’re now back with their third proper album called SPARK, which will be out on September 16 through Secretly Canadian. Julien Ehlrich says:
“Max and I wrote ‘REAL LOVE’ in June 2021 right after a cross country move back to Chicago. I was experiencing heightened levels of anxiety and panic, while the entire city was re-emerging from isolation. I’ve been running away from and self medicating my anxiety for as long as I can remember, but for whatever reason, it felt like it was time to dive straight into it. During late night sessions over a two week period, we captured the embrace of anxiety and fear in a way that resonated with us immediately. We spent the next few summer nights driving on Ashland with the windows down and the song turned up. It felt like an emotional and musical burst of light and we’re so grateful to finally be sharing that with people.”
Lyrically, “REAL LOVE” is in familiar Whitney territroy, with “heart beat’s only a tremble” and feelings of dizzying isolation. What’s different is a more swaggering low-end, emphatic beats, and slight synth imbuement, making it a much punchier pop song than we’ve heard from them before. This is especially true as they hit the chorus, which punctures the gloomy atmosphere with a radiant burst of desire: “all I want is real love”. It’s a simple message delivered beautifully, which has long been Whitney’s calling card.