Originally cut from their 2016 debut, Light Upon the Lake, “You and Me” was released to the world on September 29, along with the announcement of an upcoming record of early recordings, and a cover of Allen Toussaint’s “Southern Nights.”
The song opens with a delightfully fast guitar riff akin to that of “No Matter Where We Go,” punctuated by an uncharacteristically synth-y keyboard. It’s bouncy enough to induce the delusion that maybe, just maybe, the Chicago-based, six-piece, self-described country-soul Whitney have written a purely happy song.
Within a minute that delusion is shattered. Electric guitar and keyboard drop out, replaced by a singular acoustic guitar and drummer-vocalist Julien Ehrlich’s familiar croon chimes in, wistfully: “Oh, darling / Remember, you and me, darling / Remember, you and me, darling.” Bare and plaintive at first, the chorus slowly grows. First, the keyboard reenters, then drums and electric, transitioning directly back into the original guitar melody, which then sounds decidedly melancholic.
Though familiar in melodic style, “You and Me” feels like a step forward for Whitney, even if it was written in late 2014, early 2015. Though it lacks Will Miller’s trumpet — one of Whitney’s most alluring aspects — it sounds and feels more layered than any of the band’s previous releases. A string section, two different keyboard tones and almost every other instrument on the track are featured front-and-center for at least a moment or two over the course of just-under-three-minutes. Though many fans may find themselves growing impatient for Whitney’s second proper full-length, “You and Me” is as clear a sign as ever that Light Upon the Lake: Demo Recordings should be able to hold us over until the summer, when the next LP is due.