11 Songs, 38 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

This Nashville group (now a duo after the departure of Brian Bandas) taps into the spirit of ‘70s country-rock bands like Poco and The Eagles, with nods toward contemporary acts like Lonestar and Rascal Flatts. As singers, Stephen Barker Liles and Eric Gunderson temper their Nice Guy appeal with hints of rebellion and swagger. “Angel Eyes” sets the tone with its chiming guitars and playful lyrics about a whisky-sipping good girl who loves tailgate parties and singing in the church choir. Tracks like “Inside Out” and “Girls Love to Shake It” turn up the heat a little, balancing the sensitive balladry of “Thinking of You (and Me)" and the perceptive storytelling of “Town Drunk.” Especially strong is “Amen,” a subtly sexy tune recalling Dave Barnes. Liles and Gunderson’s voices blend effortlessly, combing with particular grace on “Girls Look Hot in Trucks,” a mellow salute to backroads romance. Josh Leo’s production combines radio-friendly polish with a feel for Love and Theft’s acoustic-centered sound, bringing out the warm-hearted spirit of the duo’s music.

EDITORS’ NOTES

This Nashville group (now a duo after the departure of Brian Bandas) taps into the spirit of ‘70s country-rock bands like Poco and The Eagles, with nods toward contemporary acts like Lonestar and Rascal Flatts. As singers, Stephen Barker Liles and Eric Gunderson temper their Nice Guy appeal with hints of rebellion and swagger. “Angel Eyes” sets the tone with its chiming guitars and playful lyrics about a whisky-sipping good girl who loves tailgate parties and singing in the church choir. Tracks like “Inside Out” and “Girls Love to Shake It” turn up the heat a little, balancing the sensitive balladry of “Thinking of You (and Me)" and the perceptive storytelling of “Town Drunk.” Especially strong is “Amen,” a subtly sexy tune recalling Dave Barnes. Liles and Gunderson’s voices blend effortlessly, combing with particular grace on “Girls Look Hot in Trucks,” a mellow salute to backroads romance. Josh Leo’s production combines radio-friendly polish with a feel for Love and Theft’s acoustic-centered sound, bringing out the warm-hearted spirit of the duo’s music.

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About Love and Theft

A pop-country act built around the striking harmonies of Eric Gunderson and Stephen Barker Liles, Love and Theft came together in Nashville in 2006. Initially, vocalists and songwriters Gunderson, Liles, and Brian Bandas took turns singing leads, while the other two sang gorgeous backing harmonies. Versatile, bright-sounding, and with a clear sense of pop-country arrangement, Love and Theft's live shows brought them an enthusiastic fan base. After playing a showcase for ASCAP representatives, Love and Theft were offered a deal with the Disney-affiliated country label Lyric Street Records. Working with producers Jeff Coplan and Robert Ellis Orrall, the trio released its debut album, World Wide Open, on CarolWood Records (a Lyric Street affiliate) in mid-2009. The album's first single, "Runaway," peaked at number ten on the country singles chart, while the album also cracked the country Top Ten. However, Lyric Street and CarolWood were closed by Disney in April 2010, and the group went looking for a new label. Bandas left the band in 2011, and Gunderson and Liles continued on as a duo. The two-piece Love and Theft were signed to RCA Nashville later that same year. A single from the duo, "Angel Eyes," was a major country hit, rising to number one on the C&W singles charts, while the subsequent album, simply called Love and Theft, went to number four on the country albums survey. However, Love and Theft had completed most of their third album when they fell into disputes with RCA Nashville, and they parted ways with the label. Launching their own Hate & Purchase Music, Love and Theft self-released Whiskey on My Breath in February 2015. The album's title track rose to 31 on the country singles chart, and in 2016 the duo signed with Curb Records, which soon reissued Whiskey on My Breath. ~ Steve Leggett

  • ORIGIN
    Nashville, TN
  • GENRE
    Country
  • FORMED
    2006

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