Exclaim!'s Top 27 Albums of 2016 So Far



20. Whitney
Light Upon the Lake
(Secretly Canadian)

Some have crowned Chance the Rapper's "No Problem" the Song of the Summer, but it's only a song of the summer — the big city, sweltering feel-good kind. Fellow Chicagoans Whitney have mastered another strain — bright 'n' breezy, blissed-out folk-rock.

Building on but breaking apart from the last year's Laurel Canyon resurrection, Light Upon the Lake's cottage country title is apt: the delicate guitar and dusty strings of "No Woman" could play as a Western hero ambles into the sunset, while "No Matter Where We Go" rolls the windows down and sets a new standard for drunk in love, run-away-with-me tunes. All that beautiful, stop-and-smell-the-flowers spirit is distilled on "Follow," a meandering sway that builds to an ear-to-ear grinning sing-along, all swirling six-string and horns blasting pure sunshine.
Matt Williams