Written by Noelle Simeon, Photos by Jason Stoltzfus
Growing up in a musician’s house is both a blessing and a curse. Late nights with my mother’s melodic piano rang throughout the house at all hours of the night; my step-dad would constantly play the guitar while we were trying to watch TV. He loved old-school blues the most, strumming Muddy Waters or B.B. King. After listening to Larkin Poe‘s single “Bad Spell,” I excitedly sent a link to the music video to my mom, who proceeded to send me all cap texts of “WOW WOW WOW” and “THESE CHICKS ROCK!!” Those are my thoughts exactly, mom.
Larkin Poe’s sixth studio album, Blood Harmony, is that cool, badass, rockin’ blues album that you imagine playing on a dive bar jukebox, where the smoke is heavy, and the whiskey is strong. Rebecca and Megan Lovell make you want to travel down South in your old Chevy to hear the blackbirds sing. Their confidence shines through each song, all while being honest and open.
Blood Harmony is a fitting title, as it was co-produced by Rebecca’s husband, Tyler, and mostly recorded at their home in Tennessee. It has a familiar ease with a musical crispness. Larkin Poe’s love for their family and southern roots shines in songs “Southern Comfort,” “Georgia Off My Mind” (whose title refers to Ray Charles‘ famous “Georgia on My Mind”), and “Bolt Cutters & The Family Name.”
But the South is felt in most of the tracks, with “Deep Stays Down” having that classic single guitar pluck that quickly builds to a whole band rock out, and “Summertime Sunset,” a smooth tribute to all the beauty the South has to offer.
In “Bad Spell,” the one I sent to my mom, Megan gives us incredible lap-steel guitar licks. But the song itself could be considered a companion piece to Screamin’ Jay Hawkins’ “I Put a Spell on You.” Rebecca explains, “I’ve wanted to write a female response to it; it was so fun to create a song where the riffs and guitar tones have that singular purpose of nastiness and swagger.”
Slowing down into the heart punch of the blues, the track “Might as Well Be Me” hits us with the popular unrequited love theme. “Lips as Cold as Diamond” closes the album with a combo of death and sexiness that great Southern rock knows how to deliver.
Blood Harmony seems both deeply personal and relatable; whether it’s love for other southern artists or love for the country life, Larkin Poe’s passion and originality show on each track. Blood Harmony is one I will spend many a Sunday listening to, longing for some sweet tea and a rocking chair on my front porch.
Blood Harmony is out now!