Poetically charged, a light and dark paradox; folk rock duo, Larkin Poe, digs into the recesses of the human condition as well as the human mind with honey-coated voices and a growl and twang. Their out promoting their newest single “Stubborn Love,” a love song they’ve written to one another. It features footage of their travels and captures the spirit of their unique bond and creativity.
While on the road, Rebecca and Megan Lovell, the sisters who make up Larkin Poe, took the time to tell us a little bit about what it’s like to be descendants of the late, great, Poe and about the joys of being on tour as a duo.
You two are descendants of Edgar Allen Poe, classically trained on violin/piano, and now steadily making alt. rock tunes. Have you always been playing together? How’d the actual duo of Larkin Poe come to be?
As sisters, we’ve made music together for almost two decades. I think we played our first “gig” when Megan was seven and Rebecca was six. (Our then dentist hired us to play and sing Christmas carols at a holiday party. Zenith of rock’n’roll.) We started touring professionally with our first band, the Lovell Sisters, in 2005 – but it wasn’t until our eldest sister, Jessica, bowed out of the Lovell Sisters in 2010 that we stripped everything apart and formed Larkin Poe.
You mention growing up with some crazy stories about your ancestry and how that sculpted your definition of normal. Care to explain how that has influenced your creative process?
Our paternal grandfather lived life as a schizophrenic. Growing up in the shadow of that abnormality – and perhaps harboring a little fear of possibly inheriting it ourselves? – I’d say both of us sisters have developed a mutual fascination with mental illnesses and the darker sides of human nature. With Edgar Allen Poe as a far branch of the family tree, I’d say we can both count on being a little twisted… That darkness definitely surfaces in our creative process.
Recently you released a video for your song Stubborn Love that, from the looks of it, features a lot of tour footage, on stage as well off. What prompted this style of music video?
The best part of touring as Larkin Poe is that we get to see the world together as sisters. For the most part, we actually do get along like champs and have a super fun time on the road… Since “Stubborn Love” is our love song to each other as sisters, we thought it’d be cool to let the cameras role nonstop for a few days and give folks a “slice of life” view from our summer tour!
You’re getting ready to head on tour with Conor Oberst not only to open for him but also to back him in his band. Does it feel differently to collaborate with other musicians on their work than it does collaborating with one another to create your songs?
We love acting as backing musicians for other artists – especially artists like Conor Oberst and Elvis Costello! There’s something incredibly intimate and humanizing about digging into someone else’s art and learning every note and every lyric. We find that we learn so much about ourselves, and our own craft, by being onstage with and supporting other amazing performers. We pick up all kinds of voodoo magic from them… And then we immediately turn around and funnel it right back into Larkin Poe.
What’s your favorite part of being on tour?
Besides roaming the world? Our favorite part of being on tour is the consistency of playing shows night after night! There’s a rhythm and an energy that starts to build once you hit week two or three of a tour. Everyone gets “in shape” and starts to destroy and recreate the songs in new ways – that’s when it starts to get magical and addictive.
What were some of your influences growing up?
Led Zeppelin, Queen, Pink Floyd, The Allman Brothers, Dolly Parton, Heart, and Florence Nightingale.
About a year ago you released your record KIN. What about it makes it your “coming of age project”?
‘KIN’ is our first full-length record – but even beyond that, I would say that ‘KIN’ is our first truly collaborative project as sisters. Through the making of that album, we grew together as songwriters, learned how to creatively push and pull one another, gained more of the courage needed to express our personal selves and personal feelings in our songs… It was wholly a “coming of age” project! It’s near and dear to our hearts.
Aside from the tour, what have you got in store for us? What can your fans expect from you in the upcoming months?
For the past few weeks, we’ve been hitting the road here in the USA to promote our song “Stubborn Love” at radio, so hopefully folks can expect to tune in and hear “Stubborn Love” on their little old FM radios… We’re always writing and recording and making silly cover videos – so folks should also always be on the lookout for new jams from Larkin Poe on the social medias.
Check out their Official Site for more details.