Whitney K - Hard To Be A God LP (MDR057)
Album ships May 13th 2022.
Don’t ya know it’s hard to be a god. No reason to sugar coat it, what you’re getting is peak Whitney K, poetry in motion and masterful writing where words, harmony, arrangements all dance in the same direction, free flowing through songs about change and memory. A voice as an instrument.
Hard To Be A God is the new mini-album by Whitney K and follows 2021’s acclaimed ‘Two Years’. Now based in Montreal, once again Konner Whitney is accompanied by friend, musician and all-hands-on-deck collaborator Joshua Boguski and by multi-instrumentalist Avalon Tassonyi.
From the opening notes of ‘While Digging Through The Snow’ it’s apparent that something magical is happening, like witnessing a “state of grace”, a breathtaking delivery where the game has slowed down and the band is dazzled while proceeding in trance through the experience. This is ‘a moment’, a future staple, a daydreamer ballad where reassessing one’s life stock and its surroundings gently evolves into a wider narrative, one where you are left contemplating colonial legacy and its inevitable conclusion. ‘Not Unlike A Rock’ is a rollicking bongo cruiser plateauing with mixolydian guitar licks that would make deadheads realign; the cartwheeling percussion on ‘Two Strangers’ nervously advances carrying Queen Victoria on her drive, another abstract metaphor for colonialism in Canada. ‘Hard To Be A God’... well, it does take a while for a lesson to sink in. ‘Song For A Friend’ is the epic closer, a stunning majestic beautifully orchestrated song about losing that someone to another more desirable city… or is it about the feeling of being left behind? Another hypnotic performance soaring above a wash of strings and piano weaving.
‘Hard To Be A God’’s hallucinatory pastoral album cover, a painting by Caro Deschênes depicting a rearing dog soaring above the deceased bodies of Bob Dylan, Lou Reed and Kris Kristofferson, epitomizes in many ways Whitney K’s approach. This is not simply a ‘kill yr idols’ situation, this is an open conversation, where storytelling becomes visionary and frames personal, poetic and often playful dérives through the histories of their imagination, bending and elevating a whole serious inventory of dreams.
‘Hard To Be A God’ was written by Konner Whitney and recorded by Josh Boguski at Studio Parc and Peter Woodford at Bottle Garden in Tiohtià:ke/Montreal. Mixed and mastered by Josh Boguski at Studio Parc. Additional recording by Patrick Hamilton. Performers: Konner Whitney, Joshus Boguski, Avalon Tassonyi, Kieran Poile, James Perry, Michael Halls, Aidan Ayers, Patrick Hamilton, Ari Swan, Thanya Iyer, Zafer, Audreanne Filion. Photography by Joliz Dela Peña. Cover painting by Caro Deschênes. Layout/Design by Joshua Boguski.