Whitney’s reputation as a supergroup is perhaps a little overstated. Only in the indie world could a group formed of members of Smith Westerns and Unknown Mortal Orchestra attract the super prefix. But Light Upon the Lake merits superlatives. It’s a confident and effortless record that sounds as if it has always existed, blending shades of Americana and classic guitar pop into a russet-coloured, American pastoral whole. It’s nothing new – it’s certainly reminiscent at times of Beachwood Sparks – and despite its brevity, there are moments of filler, such as the pointless Red Moon. But then a song like Polly comes along, all Nilsson piano, twanging guitar and gorgeous horns, and you can forgive them anything. Those with a low tolerance for winsome male falsettos may wish to steer clear, but anyone who loves the strain of American pop that began when the Byrds started branching out in 1966 and 1967 should rush to hear this delightful confection.
Whitney: Light Upon the Lake review – gorgeous, russet-coloured Americana pop
Michael Hann is a freelance writer, and former music editor of the Guardian