Forever Turned Around came together over several sessions across the country. Though Julien Ehrlich is Whitney’s lead singing drummer while
Max Kakacek is the lead guitarist, when writing, both transcend their roles
to piece together each offering lyrically and compositionally. “The way it ends up working is one of us comes up with a basic idea for a song and the other person serves as the foil to complicate that idea. We ask, ‘What can we change to make it more interesting?’” says Kakacek. Challenging each
other is the core of their songwriting partnership.
It’s these risks and experiments that make Forever Turned Around a triumph. Take opener “Giving Up,” which started from a stream-ofconscious revelation when Ehrlich improvised the chorus while Kakacek
played Wurlitzer. What began as a nod to Neil Young’s Live at Massey Hall 1971 in an afternoon turned into a heart-rending and relatable song about the ups and downs of long-term relationships. Over twinkling piano, Ehrlich sings, “Though we started losing touch / I’ve been hanging on because / You’re the only one I love.” He explains, “In a relationship, you don’t stay at
the same level at all times. You go through weeks where you’re closed off.”