Larkin Poe play Bluesfest in Byron Bay plus Sydney and Melbourne sideshows in April.
With the recent release of their latest album, ‘Venom & Faith’, and Byron Bay's Bluesfest on the horizon, American duo Larkin Poe have found themselves on the edge of stardom.
Known for their viral cover videos, sisters Rebecca and Megan Lovell have taken the blues world by storm with their southern charm and exceptional vocal harmonies.
Hailing from Atlanta, Georgia, Rebecca believes that “growing up in the south was instrumental” to their own music. Nestled below the bluegrass states of Tennessee and Kentucky, the sisters grew up listening to southern rock records and front porches littered with people making music.
The south was the biggest factor when it came to establishing their sound that it seemed inevitable Larkin Poe would find themselves making roots and Americana music.
Touring with the likes of Elvis Costello, Conor Oberst and even Australia’s Keith Urban during the past 12 months, Larkin Poe have found themselves on tour more than they’ve been off the road.
The life of a career musician can be exhausting, and during lengthy tours Rebecca says that “sleep is incredibly important and that’s the first thing to be sacrificed on the altar of rock & roll”, and that touring is about “trying to keep that positive energy and appreciating what we’re getting to do, and how much of the world we get to see. It’s about trying to keep it all in perspective.”
After taking control of the recording process for their 2017 album ‘Peach’, which was such a liberating experience, the Lovell sisters knew they wanted to produce ‘Venom & Faith’ the same way. “It was about sticking to our guns, and that being able to make all of the creative decisions between Megan and I as sisters was something that we really cherished,” Rebecca says.
When it came time to pull all of the songs together, the sisters really struggled with the sequencing of the album. “We thought really long and hard about the thematic art of the record and what songs felt appropriate, and just thinking about it from a listener’s perspective. Really it was just a little bit of blood, sweat and tears, and listening to the album about 8,000 times.”
After their cover videos began to go viral, Larkin Poe found themselves in the unlikely company of Russell Crowe. “Russell Crowe is really quite a hero,” Rebecca says. “I think he’s such a musician in his own right and we really appreciate the support that he has given us.”
The actor reached out to the Lovell sisters while he was on set in Atlanta, requesting they play the wrap party for ‘The Nice Guys’. After the show fell through, Russell graciously asked them out for dinner to catch up; neither of them could ever imagine what would happen next.
Megan recalls the day Russell got back in touch and that “he had purchased like ten CDs off our website; at this point it was about a year ago. I was giving him crap like 'dude, I would have sent you CDs, are you crazy, why are you doing this?'. He said: 'I want to support your art and also I hope you don’t mind, but I sent a couple copies of your record to Keith and Nicole.
“So that’s how the whole Keith Urban tour came about [last] year, because Russell Crowe sent our records to the Urban household. So we are forever indebted to Russell. I know, what a champ.”
Streaming services have become such a huge part of the industry and everyday life; making music available to people all around the world. In Megan’s words, streaming has “indelibly changed the music industry and I think a lot of people would categorise it as under the doom and gloom heading. People aren’t buying records anymore, and they’re expecting that immediate and complete access.”
Rather than get down trodden by the drop in physical record sales, Rebecca has come to realise that “by making music that is definitely left of centre we are very aware of the fact that there is no space [for us] on radio. It’s about learning how to be creative and sneaky in the way that you try to send your music out to your fans.”
Larkin Poe play 2019 Bluesfest 18 April, Oxford Art Factory (Sydney) 22 April and Howler (Melbourne) 24 April.