Love and Theft first came to prominence with their breakout single, “Runaway”. That song featured the trio showcasing their perfect harmony as well as any established group in country music, and hit Top 10 on the US country music charts. It also earned them a spot as the opening act for the second half of Tim McGraw’s “Southern Voice” tour, alongside a little group called Lady Antebellum.
Their debut album, World Wide Open, also featured the single “Dancing In Circles”.
Almost two years after that major tour, and now reborn as a duo, L&T are back with a new single, “Angel Eyes”. Although the sound is a bit less powerful, down the voice of co-lead vocalist Brian Bandas, the signature harmony remains the same.
“Angel Eyes” is a refreshing take on the ‘preacher’s daughter’ motif. A theme that’s admittedly prevalent to the point of cliché in country music, Love and Theft’s unique harmony adds something new. With the refrain “There’s a little bit of devil in those angel eyes/a little bit of heaven with a wild side”, Stephen Barker Liles and Eric Gunderson easily paint the picture. It’s fun, and it’s catchy.
If there’s one complaint about their new sound, it’s that the pair can be almost too soft. “Runaway” was a powerful song, and their live shows on the Southern Voice tour reflected Tim McGraw’s live presence – a strong, rock-influenced sound. It’s hard to imagine “Angel Eyes” being sung the same way.
All that said, the new direction is satisfying, and Love and Theft do stay true to the harmony that made them one of my favourite new groups two years ago. “Angel Eyes” is a worthy addition to their repertoire, and I look forward to hearing more from the pair.
The rest of Love and Theft’s self-titled sophomore album is set for release on July 24.