Whitehorse “I’m Not Crying, You’re Crying”

Six Shooter Records, 2023

On ‘Im Not Crying, You’re Crying,’ Whitehorse show how complex Americana/Canadiana music can be.

Whitehorse, or the Canadian duo comprising Melissa McClelland and Luke Doucet, are no newcomers to Americana, or Canadiana (the same thing?) since in their twelve years of releasing music, they have exactly the same number of releases. Yet that doesn’t have to mean much if there’s no musical progression, even if only a nuanced one.

With their latest album,I’m Not Crying, You’re Crying,’ Whitehorse not only shows that musical progress but also dispels two questions.  The first one is whether there is such a thing as Canadiana within the Americana genre and the other is whether you need some exceptional musicianship to play country-tinged music. What we get here is an unequivocal positive answer to both questions.

First of all, abandoning the original intention of recording ‘classic seventies’ country songs, Whitehorse ended up recording a set of originals that are infused with the spirit of the classics, showing that Canadiana certainly exists, unless of course, for example, those artists gathering around Nashville are familiar about life in Winnipeg, which the duo mentioned here.

Secondly, paying closer attention to the instrumental backing here, you can hear such intricate and complex musical details that some other musical genres either don’t require or are a little too hard to handle (for some artists at least).

Whitehorse actually has no problem with either their instrumental skills or handling the ‘classic’ country-style songwriting as if they were born with it and bringing in vocals and lyrics to match. More power to the duo.

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