If you want to see what commitment looks like, look no further than Denver-based Whitacre’s new music video. Fresh off the success of last year’s Within The Mountains’ Shadows EP, the folk-rock outfit is ready to kick things up a notch with a forthcoming full-length album, Seasons, but first, they are dropping the victory lap visuals for the title track, and boy does it not disappoint. There are tattoos (very real and extremely badass), a retrospective glimpse of the band’s goal of playing Red Rocks “one day” and scenes from their Red Rocks performance in all its glory. If there was ever a local moment akin to Rocky ascending the steps of the Philadelphia Museum, this would be it, complete with frontman Paul Whitacre beaming as the applause roll in amidst watery eyes. The cinematic moment provided by no shortage of blood, sweat and tears.
“When we brought in our friend Toshi Jamang to film Whitacre at Red Rocks, we could tell he had a vision,” said Paul Whitacre. “Toshi had filmed us recording our first song ever, “Set Me Free,” over two years ago and he captured the band’s whole story into this four-minute video.”
The song itself is just as reflective of the band’s journey as the visuals. Opening up with Whitacre singing of his move to Colorado from Indiana and the necessity to confront the demons that hitched a ride with him, the song explodes with Whitacre finding faith and a new lease on life in the process. Albert Camus once wrote, “In the middle of winter I, at last, discovered that there was in me an invincible summer,” and the same appears to be true of the band as they’ve only further honed into their sound and recognizing that life itself moves in seasons, from the hardships to the joys. Beyond the title track, the forthcoming full-length explores much of the same theme but manages to push Whitacre to new heights.
“Our new album Seasons was originally envisioned to be a two-song project. When we got back in the studio with Joe Richmond, we realized how many half-baked ideas we had for songs and figured, why not make a whole record? Everyone in the band knows their instrument well enough to write songs on the spot, so we didn’t have a sense of “do we need to save these songs and space them out?” We knew it wouldn’t take long to get another record’s worth of material, so we just went for the whole enchilada.”
Though a new era of Whitacre is imminent, the band made one hell of a time out of their last one. Spending the better part of last year trailblazing with their “Weezer with a banjo” dubbed sound and corralling quite a following in the process amongst accolades upon accolades, the previous era made Whitacre into one of the forefront bands in the Denver scene, and their new project only seeks to extend that.