Atlanta-based, multi-instrumentalist sister duo Larkin Poe recently released their first full-length effort, Kin. After a handful of self-released EPs and a few years on the road in the US and abroad, Megan and Rebecca Lovell moved beyond their DIY ethos, having signed on to Restoration Hardware’s RH Music in 2013. Eagerly jumping into the studio with producers Chris Seefried and Damien Lewis in Los Angeles and Atlanta respectively, Larkin Poe crafted a dozen songs showcasing their unique brand of “roots-rock’n’soul.” A definite about-face when compared to the latter EPs, Kin brings more noise-pop layering and guitar work, yet still embraces the duo’s roots music beginnings.
Classically trained in both piano and violin as youngsters, the home-schooled sisters were exposed to a plethora of genres and styles of music, including the classic rock loved by their father. Proving a formidable foundation to build on musically, the girls first honed their skills and as teenagers, began performing as the Lovell Sisters (with older sister Jessica). The Americana trio released a couple records and toured heavily for a few years until their demise in 2009. Megan and Rebecca regrouped and carried on writing and playing music in early 2010 after settling on the name Larkin Poe, the sisters’ great, great, great, great grandfather—a Civil War veteran and distant relative to dark, genius Edgar Allen.
Kin wastes no time jumping into lap steel-laden album opener, “Jailbreak”, highlighting Rebecca’s sultry, bluesy lyrical delivery and Megan’s downright sexy lap steel work. Moving quickly into the first official single, “Don’t”, the duo switches gears to a hypnotic, if not infectious pop number. The first two songs eagerly set the pace for the rest of the record, which may be too “poppy” for their early fans, but the sound is no doubt authentic and symbolizes the growth of the Lovells as songwriters, musicians and women. Rebacca, 23, handles lead vocals and guitar, as Megan, 25, commands her lap steel guitar and dobro with subtle yet explosive vamps and fills throughout the record.
The year 2014 has been huge thus far for Larkin Poe. A debut record, opening and backing Elvis Costello during North American and European tours, stints backing Conor Oberst (Bright Eyes, Monsters of Folk) along with California folk rockers, Dawes, at the Newport Folk Festival and on Late Show With David Letterman, and tour dates and an Austin City Limits appearance with their fellow Atlantan, Kristian Bush. Not a bad 2014 and the way these ladies are moving, who knows what they will be able to put together in the future.
(Georgia Music 12/17/14)