“Whiskey On My Breath”, country duo Love and Theft’s third album, marks a significant creative statement for the two singer-songwriter-guitarists, whose resume already includes a long series of career highlights.
Having already established themselves as one of country’s hottest young acts with such memorable hits as the #1 country smash “Angel Eyes” and the Top 10 hit “Runaway,” and their widely acclaimed albums “World Wide Open” and “Love and Theft”, the ACM/CMA/CMT-nominated twosome take their music to the next level on “Whiskey On My Breath” on Sony Music Australia.
We wanted to show a different side and make a record that sounds like us,” Stephen Barker Liles says of Love and Theft’s boundary-pushing new album “Whiskey On My Breath”. “Country music has always been about honest performances and songs that mean something, and that’s the kind of record that we wanted to make.”
The new collection finds the pair stripping their sound down to its essence, with spare, largely acoustic arrangements that focus squarely on their impassioned performances and distinctive vocal chemistry. With Liles and Gunderson co-producing with longtime studio collaborator Josh Leo, “Whiskey On My Breath” showcases the emotional honesty of such self-penned new tunes as the introspective title track and the pointedly personal “Everybody Drives Drunk,” along with such lighter-hearted new originals as “Easy,” and “Anytime, Anywhere,” which show Love and Theft’s playful sense of humor to be fully intact.
Other highlights include “Get Drunk and Make Friends,” which the artists describe as the most honky-tonk song of their career, and “Wrong Baby Wrong,” a barbed Liles co-wrote originally recorded in 2009 by Martina McBride and now reworked in fine style by its co-author.
Although it’s a departure in many respects, “Whiskey On My Breath” won’t come as that much of a surprise to Love and Theft’s longtime fans, who’ll recognize the commitment to high-energy performances and emotionally forthright song-craft that’s been the foundation of Love and Theft’s music from the start.
We’re at a different place, in our music and in our lives, than we were when we made our earlier records, and we wanted this album to reflect that,” agrees his longstanding musical partner Eric Gunderson. “We worked harder and more passionately on this record than anything we’ve ever done. The whole experience was refreshing and inspiring for us.”
The longtime partners agree that their potent musical chemistry is a reflection of their personal rapport. Their second-nature chemistry led them both to agree that the occasion of their third album called for the bold musical statement that “Whiskey On My Breath” would ultimately become.
Those songs are both really personal for us,” Eric notes. “They show a side of us that’s legitimately us, and how we’ve grown up and matured in the time that we’ve been in this business. But there are plenty of songs on this album that are just good, fun songs, and that’s still a side of us too.”
Indeed, Whiskey On My Breath makes it apparent how far the duo…who’ve both become husbands and fathers in the six years since they began their recording career…have traveled, and demonstrates that they’re in for the long haul.