Stephen Martines’ third official single brings listeners a heartbreakingly soulful acoustic-rock ballad that is driven beautifully by the artist’s genuine and entrancing vocal tones.
Sounds Like Whiskey takes the concept of pain in relation to love – something we all can relate to, those difficult times, the mistakes and regrets – and presents it in a manner that is poetic and subtly clever. The title and the hook underline the all too familiar fact that many of us only make that essential contact or say those things that are meaningful and honest when there’s some form of intoxication involved. The drunk text trend comes to mind. Martines’ approach to this though deals with the opposite being true, that this is an authentic, honest declaration of love and adoration, and that the singer or central character is fighting to be heard and believed.
The song has been set up in a warming, pop rock manner – acoustic on occasion, a little bigger elsewhere. You can hear the solo acoustic show as being just as compelling and soulful as a full-band performance. In either case, Martines’ voice and the way the instrumentation supports it makes for something that clearly comes from a place of real passion. There’s delicacy when necessary, but there are also plenty of moments of heightened emotional intensity – the likes of which help really drive the melody and the concept through in a memorable way.
Sounds Like Whiskey is an easy hit, enjoyable and quite nostalgic in its fusion of country and pop – alongside of a relatable yet cleverly executed concept. Martines’ has an endearing and comforting way with performance and creativity, and this song pays a fitting tribute to that sentiment.