From the kitchen table to the basement studio, one-half of the sister duo describes the essentials that shape their sound
Larkin Poe, the Grammy-nominated duo consisting of Georgia-bred, Nashville-based multi-instrumentalist sisters Rebecca and Megan Lovell, recently returned with new album Blood Harmony. Their sixth studio offering was recorded in their home studio and finds the pair continuing to imbue Southern rock ‘n’ roll with a fresh perspective and feminine strength. To further bolster their striking and bluesy sound, the sisters have drafted in long-term live band members including drummer Kevin McGowan and bassist Tarka Layman.
Listening to the songs from Blood Harmony, in particular the firebrand fuzz of Bad Spell and country-tinged Georgia Off My Mind, it’s clear that Larkin Poe are at the very peak of their powers right now. It’s therefore the perfect time to learn a little more about their essential writing gear, so it’s over to Rebecca to reveal all…
1. KITCHEN TABLE
The kitchen table is my de facto writing zone. At this point, I’ve honestly lost count of how many songs I have written at the kitchen table, but it’s a lot. A couple of electrics, acoustics, and amplifiers live in permanent periphery around the table. My husband is also a songwriter — and we both love to get loud — so whenever we’re writing, but not writing together, I write on one end of the house at the kitchen table and he writes on the other down in the basement. Maintaining an equal balance of noise pollution in our household is a full time job.
2. 1930s GIBSON KALAMAZOO
A small-bodied acoustic guitar has always been a stalwart companion to me in my songwriting process. Nine times out of ten, the seed of a song begins to germinate through a guitar riff or series of chords. Music is always the jump-off point for me; after the jump, lyrics seem to miraculously coalesce during the free fall.
iPhone Voice Memos and iPhone Notes are essentials in helping me keep hold of song ideas — particularly when we’re out on the road and I don’t have the luxury of privacy or big blocks of undisturbed time to fully flesh out my ideas. When inspiration strikes, I say “thank you” to the universe and gather up song fragments like a squirrel gathering up acorns for winter. I have over 350 voice memos and a running note of song titles and lyric fragments that is almost 10 years old… There are no rules in love or grief or creativity; you’ve just gotta find what works for you and then keep doing it.
As a writer who definitely encounters “dry spells” every so often, showing up to every write with an unshakable sense of perseverance is something I’ve made a habit of in recent years. Whether or not I finish a song is secondary to the importance I place in showing up fully, seeking joy, and choosing not to fall prey to my own insecurities — perseverance in trusting the process.