Have you heard Larkin Poe yet? Perhaps you caught them at Glastonbury in 2014, or know that they often tour with Elvis Costello, and you are already on this rock’n’roll train?
You will catch them at Glasto this weekend too, because they weren’t named by The Observer as the best discovery at Glastonbury the last time for nothing. The roots rock band, hailing from Atlanta, Georgia and fronted by Rebecca and Megan Lovell are in their purest form, addictive. Yes, addictive. And we don’t say that because there’s something definitively sexy about a band fronted by two sisters, we don’t even say it for the pure truth that when rock is laced with blues, country and folk roots it produces a toe-tapping, head-bobbing inheritance in the blood of us all. No.
We say it because Larkin Poe have a sound that reaches out and grabs hold. Heavy guitar riffing, killer beat dropping, driven by strong vocals and thoughtful lyrics. Of course we concede that we love the sister thing and the roots rock toe-tapping as well — all things which tell a beautiful story of who Larkin Poe are. Live, the Lovell sisters lead a set that balances homey ‘back down south’ appeal while being rock’n’roll smoking hot all at once. Rebecca’s grinding lead vocals and electric guitar command our ears while Megan’s harmonies and Lapsteel bring a fascinating and fresh accompaniment. Marlon Patton on drums and Robby Handley with bass complete the sound, bringing together numbers like “Sucker Puncher”, “Don’t” and “Sugar High” which sit with “Blunt” among our favourites.
The down to earth persona of the two sisters is refreshing, whether you are seeing them live, or keeping an eye on their social media news feeds. We can see the rock icons of their childhood, Fleetwood Mac and Pink Floyd peeping through, and with influences like Chris Whitley, Jeff Buckley and Jack White, you know their songs are lyrically worthy of note. While the rest of the world is singing about love and heartbreak fluff, they bring anthems with the likes of “Blunt” from their current album “Reskinned”, which boldly dares to address the state of affairs in our world today, which for Larkin Poe, is about asking “How does one affect positive change in their lifetime?”. In their own words, its a big question that Blunt doesn’t answer, instead it pushes for asking, requesting those listening to raise the poignant question for themselves.
Larkin Poe’s last two U.K. moments before they run away with Elvis Costello again, and Paper Kites by the way! will be at the Avalon Stage at Glastonbury this Saturday, and at the Bullingdon in Oxford on Sunday eve.
Writers postscript. The first time I heard Larkin Poe was some time after midnight on a beautifully stormy London eve after a message from a friend, “You must check this out”. I was half asleep when I pressed the Soundcloud play button on “Blunt”, a few bars in and I’m helplessly wide awake and as aforementioned, completely addicted. Being asked to explore further and review them has been a pleasure all mine #alreadyboughtthealbum End result,100% converted.