“We don’t really know what day it is” Whitney singer-drumer Julian Ehrlich joked, before explaining that the Chicago band was exhausted. They were midway through a nonstop festival season and direct from Green Man festival in the Brecon Beacons - not that their weariness shows in this last-minute show at Hackney’s Moth Club.

The seven-piece sound as tight and fresh as anything as they play through favourites from their first album Light Upon The Lake and new material from second album Forever Turned Around, out this Friday.

Arriving onstage ten minutes early, Whitney eased the crowd in with some established favourites from their debut. ‘Polly’ began with Ehrlich isolated against undulating synths, before the band members stood up to break into one of their loveliest instrumental segments.

Unreleased second album track ‘Friend of Mine’ sounded very promising, with a strong slide guitar line from Max Kakacek which verges on sounding akin to Fleetwood Mac.

The singer noticeably took a larger than normal swig from his bottle of red wine before the new songs, but he needn’t worry. ‘Day & Night’ also goes down very well with the crowd who are even stirred into singing along with the chorus.

Bands sometimes struggle with the middle section of an hour-long setlist, but Whitney strove to keep things interesting. A rousing performance of recent single ‘Giving Up’ with Will Miller’s best ‘surprise’ trumpet solo to date was followed up by an impressively elaborate troll of ‘Last Nite’ - though the band stopped just before Ehrlich delivered his long-awaited Julian Casablancas impression. The band followed this up with an energetic instrumental with rolling, surf guitar and a jazzy piano line, which is bound to sit very well within the new album.

The singer is mildly apologetic that the songs at the back end of the set are “low energy,” but first album favourite ‘No Woman’ was a beautiful evocation of loneliness that swelled into lush Americana in the final third. This was one of many times in the set that guitarist Kakacek and Miller on trumpet complemented each other with intricate harmonies, testament to the fact that the brass element is far from tacked on afterthought in their arrangements.

The 15-song set closed with new track ‘Valleys (My Love)’, whose lyrics in typical Whitney style are about falling out of love with a partner. It’s another lovely, wistful ballad and the audience once again quickly embraced it in unison.

With its bright golden stage and ceiling adorned with glitter which shimmers like stars, Moth Club curiously resembles the cover art for Forever Turned Around. I doubt that this was intentional, but the venue was ideal for Whitney’s delicate, atmospheric brand of indie folk.

This show was at times transcendental – roll on album number two.