Sister Duo Larkin Poe Are Reshaping The Meaning Of Rock-N-Roll

Friday 09 November 2018

Nashville-based singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist sisters, Rebecca and Megan, form the exciting duo Larkin Poe. Surrounded by music growing up, their music draws on their heritage and features southern harmonies and heavy electric guitar riffs, which works to showcase their mastery in orchestrating, harmonising and reimagining what rock should sound like.

Having already performed a string of headline shows and festivals this year, Larkin Poe have now released their fourth studio album, Venom & Faith, which tells the story of self-acceptance and courage. This exciting duo are clearly onto big things!

They share with us their route into music, how they decided on their band name and the inspirations for their latest album Venom & Faith, which is out today!

Tell us a bit about your route into music…

We are fortunate to have grown up in a family of music lovers! When we were toddlers, our parents enrolled us in classical violin and piano lessons. From that point on, our relationship with music has continued to grow. In our early teens, we got involved with bluegrass music and started our first band. We were immediately hooked on the touring lifestyle and in 2010, whenever our first band broke up, Megan and I started Larkin Poe and have been soul-deep in it ever since.

How do you balance being sisters, but also being a musical duo?

Very respectfully! There are so many horror stories out there of siblings in bands who hate one another, and we never want to reach that point of no return. As sisters, we align on so much – but at the same time, we’re also very different people and have had to learn how to balance those differences. But it’s always worth the effort. Making music with one’s sibling is a beautifully effortless and fulfilling process. We feel so lucky to share this music life with one another.

So, how did you come up with the band name? 

Larkin Poe was the name of our great-great-great-great-grandfather! As sisters, we wanted to pick a band name that had some familial significance. And, get this, Larkin Poe was in fact a distant cousin of the great poet Edgar Allan Poe.

To people who have not heard your music, how would you describe your sound?

If beauty is in the eye of the beholder, then musical descriptions are definitely in the ear of the listener. We’d be curious to know how people would define our music themselves! But, broad brush: there’s a lot of roots and blues in our music; we’re definitely a rock-n-roll outfit that was formed in the deep South and then glazed in hot sauce.

Your second album Peach was critically-acclaimed, and was nominated for a Blues Music Award for Best Emerging Artist, how was that? 

Peach received a lot of positive feedback! Having worked so hard to make the album, we were incredibly pleased that is resonated with so many people in such an exciting way.

You’ve recently released your single ‘Sometimes’, can you tell me a bit about the track? 

We first heard ‘Sometimes’ being sung by blues legend Bessie Jones. Her original recording of the song is powerful, raw, and – except for a few sparse hand claps – completely a cappella. We were transfixed and had to create a Larkin Poe rendition. Bessie Jones was a Georgia girl too, so we find it especially cool to sing this song in her honour.

And what’s the reaction been like to the single?

It’s been great so far!

You recorded your debut album amidst headline shows, festival dates and guest performances, sounds like you’ve had a whirlwind of a time! Can you tell us a bit about Venom & Faith, that’s out today?

Venom & Faith is our fourth studio release. We knew 2018 was going to be a super busy year of touring, so we blocked off a few weeks in late-winter/early-spring to get into the studio and “make some magic happen”. Thankfully, the magic showed up (with a healthy side order of good old-fashioned elbow grease) and we made an album we’re incredibly proud of!

And what inspired the album? 

As artists, the last 12 months have felt transformative for Megan and me. It feels like we’re finally coming into our own in our late-twenties and finding the courage and self-acceptance to be the kind of artists we truly want to be. I think that theme of self-discovery is the major inspiration for this album.

Talking of inspirations, who are the biggest musical inspirations for you guys?

Our “holy musical trinity” right now is Skip James, Childish Gambino, & Bonnie Raitt.

You’ve performed at Glastonbury twice! How was that experience?

We adore performing at summer festivals! Glastonbury is one of our all-time favourite festivals mostly because British festival goers are hardcore heroes – no amount of rain or mud will stop them from getting out and taking part in the music. On the American side, we performed at Bonnaroo and Lollapalooza this year and just about lost our minds.

And finally, if you could collaborate with anyone who would it be?

Elvis Costello. Always. We’ve had the great honour and privilege of touring and collaborating with E.C. over the past 10 years and will always jump at the chance to work with him. His new album Look Now is incredibly inspiring – go listen.