Whitney were more than just a refreshing change for the indie rock scene, a genre so comfortably entrapped in Mac DeMarco’s woozy, ‘jizz jazz’, hypnogogic-esque rock. A seven-piece, fronted by two former members of Smith Westerns Max Kakacek and Julien Ehrlich, their debut album from last year, Light Upon The Lake, was a joyful, instrumentally lush album centred around the pain of a relationship’s end.

Whitney’s unmistakable, Chicago-infused blend of pleasant indie rock was set apart from their contemporaries by occasional, uplifting horn sections and Ehrlich’s distinctive, emotionally fragile falsetto. The sheer replay-ability of the record was one of its main standpoints. It felt fulfilling and exciting, and most of all, a complete representation of the band’s current sound. The vocals were addictive and relatable, the instrumental melodic and memorable and the horn injections both welcoming and gratifying. A critically buzzed promotional tour, along with some quietly emphatic festival appearances through last summer, cemented their live reputation - especially in a confident, personable main stage set at Primavera Sound with a surprise appearance from DeMarco himself (apparently, they’ve all been rather good friends for a few years).

And so, as DeMarco has a habit of releasing the demos to his studio albums, now it’s Whitney’s turn to release theirs from Light Upon the Lake. Introducing only a couple of tracks not previously officially released, this demos record is largely just lower-fi renditions of their previously released material, with some studio performances of songs from live shows thrown into the mix.

As always with a demo tape, Light Upon the Lake: Demo Recordings’ purpose isn’t so much to add any new dimensions to Whitney’s sound or instrumentation, but to be emblematic of the band’s personality and give an insight into their recording process. Kakacek’s complex lead guitar melodies are largely toned down on the demo tape, but Ehrlich’s wounded vocals both still flourish in a naturally less refined mix.

‘Golden Days’ sounds as good as ever, with Kakacek’s heavenly high-pitched guitar in the chorus closing out the track instead of the horn sections of the original – perhaps the most DeMarco infused cut on the record. Even as a demo, most of the songs on here sound just as fully composed as they are in the studio, and have just as much of a modest charm (if not more). ‘On My Own’, if anything, sounds more delicate as a rough demo - Ehrlich’s voice sounds closer to the brink, just as Kacekek’s guitar seems tender and brittle.

The band cite Allen Toussaint as an influence, and tagging along at the end of the record is an effortless, charming cover of ‘Southern Nights’ – which will be familiar to any that have seen them live. The other newly released track, ‘You and Me’ is a bouncing, Americana/country-esque number with upbeat drumming, interjections from nostalgic organ play and even strings fully optimising their seven-man band size.

Light Upon the Lakes: Demo Recordings won’t go down as a standout release in its own right, but it’s pleasing to hear the same demos that were sold at their initial live shows on a record. Merely releasing this album shows Whitney getting the recognition they deserve for injecting their fulfilling, charming and distinct style into the indie rock scene.