Texas-based rockers The American Revival dispense a unique blend of Americana-inspired lyrics and intrepidly designed country melodies in their work, and with their new single “Whiskey Kisses” they demonstrate why indie critics from one end of the country to the other can’t seem to stop talking about their highly anticipated debut album (which is expected out sometime in early 2019). “Whiskey Kisses” unleashes a windstorm of bucolic harmonies that are reminiscent of a simpler time and place in our lives, which in turn are punctuated by a sweltering lyricism that cuts to the very core of anyone who has ever suddenly fallen head over heels in love only to inexplicably lose that love just as quickly as they captured it. The track matches up supple country prose with classic rock grooves, but this is nothing short of a stirring original slice of contemporary music.
The vocal harmony in the chorus is so emotional and intimate that I found myself physically taken aback the first time I listened to this song. There’s so many feelings transpiring in the voices that are coming together to echo the sound of sadness and isolation; shards of frustration, humility, confusion and even anger rise to the surface in a matter of seconds. I have no doubt in my mind that this track was conceived from within a mended heart that was aching to air its pain out via whatever creative means necessary. As much as commercialized pop music may endlessly try, you’d be hard pressed to find a single released on either side of the mainstream this year that is as brooding and authentic as “Whiskey Kisses” is.
One of the most fascinating aspects of this track for me as a music critic is the awesome way that the master mix bonds the drumming to the guitar parts without ever sacrificing any percussive tone. The drums are rich and textured, arguably just as much as the bass, keys or guitars are, but their shadowing of the string vibrations is absolutely spellbinding. “Whiskey Kisses” is a prose-driven ballad for sure, but there’s no way that its sensuously stylized arrangement can be ignored – it’s far more real and tangible than what it initially portrays. Otherwise minor details are given a colorful amplification in this track that make it feel so much more epic and stately.
If this is just a taste of what’s to come in the months and years ahead for The American Revival then I’m certain that they’re going to make a huge splash in both rock and country music with the release of their debut album. They’ve got so much potential that they’re frugally utilizing in this single that they’ve really got nowhere to go but up as a creative unit. “Whiskey Kisses” is somberness spiked with a willingness to learn from past mistakes, which on its own is more mature and thoughtful than the bulk of what I’ve reviewed in either of the aforementioned genres in the last year. There’s still a lot of road left ahead of them, but at this point I think it’s safe to say that The American Revival are a band to seriously keep your eye on.